It has only snowed properly a couple of times so far since I've been here but even so I have noticed an interesting peculiarity of Appikogen snow; it doesn't fall, as the word would imply, top-to-bottom, rather it arrives in very much horizontal fashion, arriving across the landscape in a howling fury.
This makes certain things like being outside something of a challenge, amongst the many challenges of living here. Driving to and from the office in this weather has been an interesting experience, with visibility down to a metre or two at times. But it does make for pretty patterns as the snow dances across ground in eddies and swirls.
There is also a lot of it, and I say this knowing that we ain't seen nothing yet, as the peak season for snowfall is towards the end of January. That said it is not, apparently, like prefectures such as Niigata where houses have a second front door on the 2nd floor so you can exit onto the snowdrifts rather then into, I assume that is because they are on the Japan Sea coast and get the full force of the snow clouds, I wonder if Akita, to the left of Iwate, gets the same...?
I must say I have great admiration for the boffins who invented snow tyres. Here they don't grit the roads so once the ploughs have been past about an inch of compacted snow is left on the road which quickly turns to solid ice. Walking to your car is a hazardous experience, fraught with arse-over-tit opportunities, but the cars are as sure footed as mountain goats, as long as you are careful, obviously. I mentioned after the skidpan experience that I was impressed with ABS, and this is so, and coupled with snow tyres it shows how far car safety has come in the last 30 years. Impressive stuff I must say.
Oh, and well done England. It is important to keep traditions alive in this ever changing world and losing heavily at the Gabba in December will always be a cherished part of our heritage, like incompetent Prime Ministers or selling weapons to third world despots.