It’s not often that we take part in tours when we’re on holiday–we much prefer to venture out on our own. But once in a while we’ll come across a tourist gem, such as Aurora Village. We had seen numerous photos of the warm glowing teepees under the dancing lights and wanted to see it in the flesh. We were surprised by how tasteful everything was put together. Not to mention, The Lodge at the village offers some delicious Northern Candian cuisine–we tried everything from fish chowder and bannock to reindeer and buffalo rib eye. We opted for the dinner and aurora viewing package and felt it was worth the slightly hefty price tag.
Aurora Village caters predominantly to Japanese speaking visitors, with some Korean and Chinese speaking groups. In fact, most of the tourist operations in Yellowknife are geared towards Japanese visitors. From the moment we stepped off the airplane to the last day of our visit all we heard was Japanese, so much that I sometimes forgot we were in Canada. Every night no matter where we ended up, there were Japanese tourists gasping and awing at the shimmering curtains of green and plum.
For many, it’s akin to a spiritual quest sparked by a cultural obsession with natural marvels and documented in countless travel and adventure shows in Japan. There is also a popular Japanese belief that the lights bring good fortune to relationships, especially when a child is conceived under the aurora, which may have added to the success of aurora tourism.
We were the only English speakers in the village and kind of stuck out like sore thumbs even though I’m sure we look Asian enough. Even though I’m fluent in Japanese, they nearly didn’t let us on the bus to take us back to town since we were so busy taking photos of the lights and missed the return announcement.
2 Sept. 2014, 7°C
The lights danced and painted the sky into the wee hours of the night. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, mother nature had to take my breath away AND knock me off my feet.