雪 yuki—snow

It doesn’t often snow here in Sakai city. In the hills, yes, but not down here at sea-level where we live. Even in winter, the temperature normally remains above freezing.

Sakai weather

But in other parts of Japan, it snows a lot. Nagano hosted the Winter Olympics in 1998, and Sapporo gets over 6 metres of snow a year, making it a contender for the title of “snowiest city in the world”. They even have an annual Snow Festival.

Today we drove to Nagoya, and back. Nagoya is on the Pacific coast, so like Sakai, it doesn’t get much snow. But to get there (to get almost anywhere else, really, from here) you drive across the hilly inland parts where the snow makes for picturesque winter scenery (but probably isn’t so much fun if you actually live there).

route to Nagoya

We stopped to let the dogs play in the snow. Shiro especially loves snow, and his first reaction is always to bury his face in it.

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These photos were taken, not in some wild hillside, but in the grounds of Tsuchiyama Parking Area. A motorway service station, in other words. But, thanks to the transformative power of snow, there was plenty of fun to be had, and children were making the most of it, enjoying the break from the long drive.

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There was even a mini-mountain to conquer.

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And to run down again.

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