Yomping through the Snow

This temple is practically outside our place

The now infamous Honshu Blizzard of 2014 was responsible for umpteen tonnes of snow dumped across Tokyo and regions beyond. We decided to lay low, and stay indoors (except when we went to get dinner). The following morning, we were greeted with a sky of brilliant blue, and a ground of bright white.

It wasn't just the ground which was white. Made with Google's Autoawesome.

One thing I remembered from snowfalls past - though it seems the media forgets that it's ever snowed in Tokyo - is that the Japanese really go above and beyond the clean-up effort. The streets are always pretty clean in Japan - something which is still surprising in Tokyo given its size, but people like to keep their surrounding area nice and tidy. I lost count of the number of people shovelling snow. This doesn't happen back home in the UK. In the UK, grit is deposited onto the road surfaces (a pointless effort, given such snowfall), and then people will complain when there's lots of snow and ice remaining. Others will be smug, in their off-road or SUV. In Japan, it's quite different...

”ご自由にお入り下さい!” → "Please enter at your disposal!"

Looking up, we were greeted with glorious blues...

Most cars had chains. Again, this is something we rarely see in the UK

We decided to go for a long walk. Wearing my arctic gear (but with a camera instead of the gun), it turned into a bit of a yomp through the snow. It was interesting how different the areas we frequent looked, under a cover of white.

→ "Yomp" is British Royal Marines slang describing a long-distance march carrying full kit.

Yoyogi Park

Though the temperature was below freezing for most of the weekend, it's around this time of year when the plum (it's technically apricot) and cherry trees to start blossom in Tokyo. It was a little surprising finding these dainty little blossoms amongst the snow.

I used my polarising filter all day, and it really made a difference. The blues of the sky are more pronounced, and some details were retained in the super-white snow.


That's the Park Hyatt Shinjuku in the distance

After walking through the snow for many hours we were rather tired, and settled down with a nice big bowl of spicy wonton noodles (incidentally, they are pronounced wantan in Japan), before getting the train home.

// As usual, enlarge photos by clicking them //