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Monday, February 17, 2014

More Snow in Tokyo

東京 雪

Two years ago we reported on snow in Tokyo - enough of a rarity to warrant a blog. The time has come, two winters later, for Part 2: More Snow in Tokyo.

February this year began unseasonably warm. In fact, the apple tree on our balcony got tricked into blooming.

Then suddenly, it turned bitterly cold. Then the day before Valentine's Day got snow - which lifted on the Day itself - but was back in white fury the next day.

Temperatures have been ranging between about minus 1 and plus 10 Celsius. The snowfall this morning was about 15cm deep, and the snowflakes are very moisture-laden, making for snow that quickly turns to freezing cold slush.

Tokyoites love their snowmen as much as anyone else, and you can't go more than a couple of minutes through the streets without seeing a snowman or two somewhere. While not as common as snowmen, there is also no shortage of snowcaves that kids have also built on the sides of the streets.

A bitterly cold winter is the last thing Japan needs now in terms of energy resources, because with the closure of the nation's nuclear power reactors after the Fukushima disaster, all fuel for electricity generation is being imported, exacerbating Japan's already gargantuan national debt.

All that can be done in the meantime is wrap up warm, make more snowmen, and dream of spring.

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