IT was strange weather for an opening ceremony for a ski resort; blue skies, warm sunshine and no snow to be seen. However, this year was not the first time that this has happened.
The official ceremony began in front of the Grand Hirafu Welcome Center with a Shinto priest praying for the safety of all visitors to the mountain. It was a fantastic opportunity to see a unique piece of Japanese culture, and everyone who attended would agree.
Representatives from all the major companies and organisations in the area were in attendance, also praying for the safety of all guests of the mountain.
A few representatives mentioned their excitement about the upcoming major renovations planned for the main street of Hirafu, as well as them looking forward to another successful, international and safe season this year.
The second stage of the opening ceremony was held in front of the Hirafu Safety Information Center, which was officially opened by 30 important guests simultaneously cutting a ribbon.
All that was left was a rocking performance by local taiko drummers, Yotei-daiko. For a few of the new seasonal workers, they were impressed with their first taste of taiko.