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On February 8th it started to snow in the early morning before we woke up, and lasted a good few hours into the night until we had several inches in an area that rarely gets snow at all. Since it is rare, it was quite the novelty for us, and being a Saturday, meant we stayed in and got to play in it during the day and into the next. That evening we went and ate at our local yakitori restaurant, where they said it was the biggest snow they’d seen in a good 15-20 years. It was quite exciting, and we went out and took lots of pictures.

By Monday a lot of the snow had melted, and the roads were clear, but I was still glad I had snow tires. For the rest of the week, the snow very slowly melted.

Then Friday the 14th hit. Besides being Valentine’s Day, this was the day the record-breaking snow of the century (and probably last century too) fell. It started in the morning and was supposed to turn to a cold rain in the night. By nightfall, levels were already at the previous weeks. Our friend Scott came back from Tokyo and got stuck, so he spent a few hours with us (and played photographer for our Vday dinner). He finally managed to get a taxi, only to get stuck half way home and have to walk.

We figured it would still stop and turn to rain in the night. But I woke up at around 6:30 in the morning on Saturday to that odd quiet you get when snow falls. There were no sounds… no trains, no traffic, and it woke me up. With Kenji still asleep, I dislodged the kitty and went to look out the window… to a world of white. It hadn’t turned to rain during the night. It kept snowing… it was STILL snowing, and I knew that there would be no going anywhere that weekend! I woke Kenji up so we could go out and get supplies before they were sold out, and noticed already a lot of damage the heavy snow had wrought… car parks fallen over, porch roofs caved in, heavy ceiling tiles fallen off the roof… it was crazy!

Snow was closed for 2 days, and late Wednesday, but many students and teachers were still without power in their homes, and lots of things were sold out at stores. I was reminded of the days after the earthquake, actually. It took at least a week for things to return to “normal”, and even now there is still snow here and there.

It has been a long, cold, and unique winter! All I can say is I’m glad I don’t live in an area that gets snow like that often! I don’t think I could take it!

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Our rooftop during the day

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Murny didn’t know what to think…

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Walking around our neighborhood in the snow

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Local Inari shrine

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Tsubaki flowers in the cold

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It just kept growing!

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Having fun on the roof again

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Our local yakiniku restaurant

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Walking around that night after dinner

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Tried making a snow angel, but I’m not very good… don’t get much practice I guess!

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A nice sunny day Sunday morning

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The evening during snow #2

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Ridiculously snowy

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Early in the morning, trying to get to the store

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Car park damage

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Made it!!

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Poor guy was stuck in his car… offered to get him stuff from the store, but he said he’d already gone. It took a good 2-3 days to get his car out!

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Trains stopped, highways closed, roads difficult to navigate, most not even the slightest cleared… it was a huge mess!

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Sunday when it finally cleared up, trying to dig our roof out of the snow… or at least clear the grates

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Hard work, needed a nap!

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It took several days just to get the road cleared… they don’t have any snow plows in this area, so they just sent big construction equipment to drive around and pack down the snow. We shoveled a lot!

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After about a week, our local Hina Matsuri festival started

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Taking a walk about a week later, very very carefully

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Some snow still survived long past the snow day