A byte of life from the Land of Sumos and Sushi

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Funkydrummer fans will be overjoyed to hear that I did make it back to the motherland after a tentative start, but I am now back in Japan. I had a great time in England, visiting friends, and spending Christmas with my family, enjoying some delicious home cookin’ and fine English ales.

Back in J-land – the battle with the ever growing snow drifts continues. Since my return a week ago, not a day has passed when it hasn’t snowed. Our little prefecture of Fukui, famous for nothing, and largely unknown to the majority of Japanese has not only made national, but international headlines after receiving record breaking volumes of snow.

Yasu, my Japanese friend and man of the mountains tells me that not since 1981 has Fukui received this much snow, and before that, it was 1963. So, we are now experiencing a winter of truly epic proportions, the like of which has not been seen in these parts for 25 years! Though I know many of my co-workers would disagree with me, I feel very lucky to be experiencing this rare phenomenon.

A sun loving friend of mine once said that a snowy, mountainous landscape was his idea of hell. To each their own, for this is my idea of paradise.

Yet this overwhelming snow does not come without it perils. Part of the reason Fukui has made world news is because of the number of deaths the snow has caused. A train was derailed after hitting a snow drift, car accidents have quadrupled, people have been killed falling from their roofs whilst shovelling snow, and entire buildings have been crushed by the weight of snow.

In fact, on my way to work today, I saw a building that had been completely flattened by snow, something that’s hard to believe without seeing it. Sam, Lewis and I were also involved in a minor road accident. Whilst driving out to a ski resort, the car went into a spin, Sam lost control and we slammed into a wall of solid ice, crumpling the wing of the car, but leaving us thankfully unscathed. Though the car was making some unhealthy noises after that, we decided it best to carry on to the resort and enjoyed an afternoon’s snowboarding in deep off-piste snow for our troubles.

There is now a real possibility that I could get trapped in my apartment building by snow. Outside my entrance some 2 meters of white stuff is piled up, and it gradually creeps in like a glacier, meaning I have to frequently cut steps into it, to prevent entrapment.

Our car park has closed in around us, and there is barley enough space to fit us all in. Several people have given up and left their cars under the snow, waiting for the temperatures to rise before they attempt a rescue.

And rise they probably will – the forecast for the next few days is rain.

Is this the end of Ono’s never ending snow storm?

Coming soon on the funkydrummer – the best powder day in the world, and Japan’s longest rail.

3 Comments:

Blogger Benito Aramando said...

RAIN!?!? this had better not continue for long!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 10:33:00 pm

 
Anonymous Bruno said...

Don't worry - that will just leave more time for you to get your nads out in the onsen.

Friday, January 13, 2006 8:16:00 am

 
Blogger Javier Marti said...

Damn it. Trapped inside your place by snow! Must be dangerous!

Congratulations for your good work and the blog, which I liked
I wanted to invite you to my blog too.

http://niquel757.blogspot.com

You may like it

Best regards!
Javier

Saturday, January 14, 2006 1:07:00 am

 

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