Slippin’ and Slidin’ in Tokyo

It doesn’t tend to snow much in Tokyo, but it seems that this season is the exception to the rule. Typically, the winter weather keeps to itself along the Japan Sea side or up in more northern longitudes, but not this year. To folks who have spent some quality time in the northern U.S. or Canada, winter weather is nothing unusual. It took quite a few inches to get classes canceled back in college, and the locals didn’t really bundle up until the mercury dipped into the single (Fahrenheit) digits. But in Tokyo, snow is particularly bothersome because people are about as used to it as I was with my first winter up north. A little snow tends to screw things up majorly, and this year even more so. Trains run late, and people slip and fall on the ice. Store owners are out shoveling snow with the wrong kinds of shovels, which is especially humorous to me as I have fond memories of shoveling my roommate’s VW Golf out of a five-foot snow drift after carving a path to it through two feet of snow topped with an inch of ice.

Drivers here would do better to use snow tires or chains, as was the norm in the U.S., but I can understand why no one does – most of the year, there’s simply no use for such things. So you have to make do what you have, which is fine by me; I’m used to driving in snow, though clearly few others here are. Consequently, streets sometime look like a demolition derby featuring driving school students.

It’s kind of fun to watch people from Tokyo slipping and sliding as they try to deal with something that is entirely natural for us who have lived elsewhere. I’ve had a few clients cancel meetings on me due to the weather, so I can’t complain about the off days where I get to loaf about my apartment sipping dark roast, reading the newspaper and working on some projects. As the song goes, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.



~ by Japan Blog Review on January 30, 2012.

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