Until the Nagano Olympics I didn't really realize how passionate the Japanese are about skiing and snowboarding. It's big in Japan! It only makes sense then that a link between Salt Lake City and Tokyo be formed where skiers can make their way directly to Salt Lake from the slopes of Japan.
This Wednesday, June 3, 2009 Delta Air Lines is launching its inaugural nonstop flight from Salt Lake City to Tokyo, Japan. While it's a big win for Utah skiing to welcome more Japanese skiers to the Greatest Snow on Earth, I'm looking at it as a great way for me and other Utah skiers to also check out the slopes of the Pacific Rim that I've heard are pretty amazing.
But the first Utah skier to take advantage of the direct flight is none other than Nathan Rafferty, Ski Utah's President who will be on the Delta flight Wednesday morning, won't have any snow to slide on when he arrives. Sushi anyone? I'll take a spicy yellow tail please...
Which has me thinking, will they serve sushi on the flight? Now there's a brilliant idea that I'm sure someone has implemented - the 30,000' sushi bar. Sake, sushi and skiers - watch out Delta.
What do Japan skiers think of Utah?
Some Japanese skiers have already migrated to Utah, like ski legend Yuichiro Miura, who has skied Mt. Everest and completed a host of other alpine feats. He currently owns a home in Park City, UT and even named his son Yutah (pronounced Utah).
“My love of Utah is profound and deep,” said Miura. “As a professional, I have skied all around the world, but the variety of terrain and the Utah people make it the best overall ski destination anywhere. I would encourage skiers, from beginners to world class athletes, to come and experience what Utah has to offer.”