A byte of life from the Land of Sumos and Sushi

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The snow has arrived in force here in Ono. Yesterday, I awoke to find the town had been covered by the hatsu yuki (first snow) gown, transforming the drab rice paddies and mountains into the beautiful white wonderland that I love so much.

The snow storm raged all day and lasted late into the night, subjecting us to continual booms of thunder and bright bolts of lighting, as dense sheets of heavy snow relentlessly fell from the brooding skies above.

The Okuestu area (Ono and Kastuyama) are just a little bit higher in elevation than the rest of Fukui, but it makes a huge difference in the amount of snow we receive, which is considerably more than the rest of the prefecture.

The snow has come almost a month earlier than last year, but you’ll hear no complaints from me. As I shifted my Mitsubishi Mini Pajero into four wheel drive, I found myself chuckling at the terrible conditions of the road.

I don’t mind driving in deep or compacted snow at all, in fact I quite enjoy it. Indeed, I remember driving out to ski resorts last year during blizzards, imagining I was some sort of Arctic explorer, braving the storm when few other vehicles ventured out on the completely snow covered roads.

Driving on snow only becomes difficult during the awkward middle stage, before the ploughs have been through, but after heavy traffic has taken its toll. This creates a severely pot holed driving surface, which throws cars all over the place. This unexpected early dump perhaps took the city by surprise, as the roads were worse than I remember, and I found my seat belt constantly locking me down, loyally keeping me in my seat as I bounced through the gauged road surface in an effort to reach home.

With the joys of living in a winter wonderland, comes the drudgery of shovelling. Though most people see this as a tiring chore, I actually enjoy the task. Last night, my friends Chris, (an American Teacher), Luke (a Welsh teacher) and I, shovelled snow in an attempt to clear our parking spaces, as the snow continued to fall. By the time we retired for the night, I measured the snow depth to be 40cm where it was undisturbed.

This morning the snowfall has ceased and the sun was peeking through, but despite our shovelling efforts of the night before, I found a snowplough had cleared our road, and in doing so it had created a meter high wall of solid snow blocking our car park entrance thus preventing my escape. It took another twenty minutes of shovelling before I broke free, by which time I was late for school.

Seeing the snow laden mountains has got me itching to get out there and ride it. My snowboarding partner in crime (The Bran Pan Man) and I have plans to set up a mini rail “zone” in an unused car park nearby for some early season shredding and rumours have it that this week will see the opening of Izumi Ski Resort, one of the best in Fukui.

More snow is forecast for the end of the week, so things are looking good for the upcoming winter season.

Thanks be to snow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have thought there'd be much call for a Welsh teacher in Japan.

boom boom.

Monday, December 12, 2005 11:03:00 am

Blogger Dee Rimbaud said...

Traveller's Blogs Link Exchange


Next spring I'm going to be selling up and moving on to pastures new. The intention is to buy a big enough vehicle to be able to live in, and to travel south in the direction of Spain with my partner and child. We have no fixed plans, as such, and no idea where we are going to end up... it could be Granada, or it may even be Grenada, or we might not get any further than the Granada Services at junction 17 on the M6... or we might just keep travelling, like new age gypsies. Whatever happens, it's going to be an adventure.

With this in mind, I have just commenced a travel-blog, by the name of Aaron-Aardvark's Amazing Adventures. It's at http://aaron-aardvark.blogspot.com/ and is distinct from my other blog (which is really just a vehicle for spleen-venting and letting off steam).

The purpose of this new blog is to talk about my hopes, dreams and anxieties as we prepare for what will be a very big change indeed; and once we actually get off on the road, to paint a vivid picture of what life is like on the road.

One of the things I want to do with this blog is to encourage people to think outside the box, and to inspire people to pursue their dreams. I reckon if a 40-something couple with a 4 year old child can shake off the shackles of 9-5, mortgage payments and all the other bollocks that go with it, then pretty much anyone can.

With that purpose in mind, I intend to add a comprehensive section of links for people that might want to investigate further the possibilities of upping-stumps and leaving it all behind. So, if you know of any useful online resources, please send the URLs to me.

I'd also like to set up a links section to other traveller's blogs. If you'd be interested in exchanging links, please send me the URL of your blog and the title.

Well, wherever you are and whatever you're doing, I wish you a brilliant Christmas and an adventurous New Year.

All the very best

Dee Rimbaud

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 3:44:00 am


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