Hawaiians trade beach, surf for snowball fight in northern Japan

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Dozens of Hawaiians brought their sunny weather with them when they visited northern Japan but they didn’t let that spoil their fun.

The 76 visitors made the trip hoping to experience blustery, drifting snow. However, they arrived on Feb. 11 to find “unlucky” serene weather with blue skies and a lack of wind to swirl the snow about.

But the tourists pulled on traditional Japanese snowshoes and enjoyed prancing about a field here pelting each other with snowballs.

“I enjoyed it very much. It was hot,” said Mike Wong, 61, who was tossing the snow about. “I am tired because this was my first experience to do that kind of thing in my life.”

The tour was jointly organized by a local tourism company and Tokyo-based Nippon Travel Agency Co.

Forty staff members from Tsugaru Jifubuki-kai (Tsugaru drifting snow association) also joined the event to assist the visitors.

The program used to be arranged most years, but after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 it was suspended indefinitely. This year’s tour was the first to be conducted in eight years.

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