8 thoughts on “Japan beleaguered by snow

  1. That is something. We had about 6 inches in Wichita last night but nothing like that.

    I once drove from Tokyo to Misawa – about a 12 hour drive. We did it in Winter and there was about 2 feet of snow in Misawa. If they got snow like that in Tokyo I don’t know where they would put it.

  2. Brings to mind James Dickey’s novel To the White Sea about a tailgunner (and Alaskan outdoorsman), the sole survivor of a B-29 shot down over Tokyo during WWII, who escapes by making his way to the ice and snow of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido.

  3. Seeing the people walking with snow above their shoulders on both sides of the path reminded me of a year that I spent at Michigan state University in East Lansing, Michigan in the mid 60’s. We had 36 inches of new snow in 24 hours on top of about a 2-foot base. Drifts were up to second floor dormitory windows, and to roofs of one story buildings. The university closed for the first time in its 100-year history. The RA’s trudged to the university dairy and pulled large milk containers to the dorm dining halls. And of course the fraternities made similar hikes to the neighborhood bars to bring cases of beer back to the frat houses as soon as the bars opened. It is very strange to walk through a snow valley just outside your door. Thanks for the memory on a 70F day here in Virginia.

    1. It reminds me of several decades ago driving into Yoho National Park of the Canadian Rockies in the spring, likely just after they had opened that road. A huge snow blower had cut through. There were places where the vertical bank on both sides of the road must have been 30 or 40 feet high.

      Something similar much more recently was driving north towards Isafjordur in the West Fjords of Iceland, just after they had opened Road #60 for the spring/summer/ early autumn, so just near 1st of May about 5 years ago. Their big nordic ski race is there at that time.

      But both of those were standard expectations on roads through mountain areas, though not that high in Iceland, being only maybe 100 km south of the Arctic Circle and just ‘uphill’ in from a maritime climate. But that side of Iceland has the cold Greenland Current coming down from the north. The east side has offshoots from the Gulf Stream (below), and one of the big urban places (maybe 500 population!) had one winter about 5 years ago when the temperature never went below freezing, even overnight. This again just below the Arctic Circle.

      I imagine there are places like that in Norway. I’d love to live for a good period in Lofoten, sort of peninsula north of the Arctic Circle but surprisingly ice free sea affected by the famous Atlantic current called the Gulf Stream.

      1. We just got 35 cm overnight, where they’d predicted 10 to 20, so no more Olympics vegetating for awhile today. Driveway’s 300 metres. But it’s trivial compared to Japan.

  4. I used to live in Tokyo but one winter I spent in Nagano in the Japanese Alps where they had a winter Olympics. Coming from Australia I was unused to snow but I got used to it fast (still hate it). A little further north is Aomori (famous for apples!) which has about the highest snowfall in the world. Many older houses have doors in their roofs so people can get in and out. I missed Tokyo in those days. 🙂

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