The wind cancels the ferry to Rishiri on our first day.

As we descend into Wakkanai Airport, I see waves crashing heavy against the snowy shoreline of northern Hokkaido. Beyond that the sea roils, a stormy green accented with whitecaps that feels cold just to look at. The route to Rishiri, a remote island 20 kilometers off the northwestern tip of Hokkaido that we are hoping to ski, is closed.

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