Erika Vikander in JaPOW with PlayHard GiveBack

We have some awesome ambassadors here at PlayHard GiveBack. Recently one of our ambassadors, Erika Vikander, made her way to ‘the land of the rising sun’, Japan.  

To be in Japan is something that every snowboarder dreams about, one experience I will treasure for the rest of my life. To not only be there, but get 6 days in a row of the best days I’ve ever had on my snowboard in addition to the most fun contest there could be, felt like an absolute dream come true.
— Erika Vikander

Erika asked if we’d be down to sponsor her train ticket, and of course we jumped at the opportunity. Not only did that help Erika make her way through Japan, but it also got PHGB in Japan for awhile!

We were able to catch up with Erika after she got back from Japan, where she placed 3rd in Womens snowboard at the Freeride World Qualifier 4 -- sick accomplishment, Erika. Anyways, we wanted to hear a bit more about her trip and some fun things she did while she was in Japan.

1.  What was your favorite part of the entire trip?

Erika: My favorite part of the trip was getting to ride that Japanese dream powder that we all see photos of and make us want to go to Japan!

2. How long was the train ride that we sponsored?

Erika: The ride took about 3 hours to get to the bus station then I had to hop onto another bus for an additional hour to get to my final destination!

3. What kind of country did the train ride go through?

Erika: The train ride started in the city, big buildings all nestled in the tightest of spaces. The buildings were packed so tight that it didn't even seem possible. We then started to gain elevation and head into some really unusual mountainous terrain. The final stretch through the Hakuba Valley was something straight out of a movie. A mix between the European Alps and the high peaks in Alaska, it was truly spectacular!

4. Did you feel that there was a communication barrier with your travels?

Erika: A little bit, but unlike America where we aren't really forced/encouraged to learn different languages throughout our entire school careers, most of the Japanese people spoke English. Not only did they speak english pretty clearly, but they were MORE than happy to help us out. We even hitchhiked home from the mountain a couple of days and i've never been picked so fast!

5. What was the best food you had?

Erika: The rumors are true. Japan has the BEST sushi (especially tuna) in the world!

6. What was the weirdest food you had?

Erika: I had some fried cartilage... it was exactly how it sounds... haha not my favorite pick! I was hoping to try more weird things, but I didn't come across anything I wasn't willing to try!

Thanks for letting us catch up with you, Erika. To read Erika’s recap from her journey, head on over to her blog simply by clicking here.