Slice of Life: REAL snow in Takayama

It is Monday night here in Takayama and since Friday, the snow has been falling almost nonstop. We’ve changed over to snow tires and today I bought a shovel. We heard that the total snowfall for these last few days totals 52cm (20.47 inches!). But amazingly, even after 3 days, there is no gray/black slush everywhere like there is back in Chicago! It’s THAT clean here!

This is the view from my front door:
Japan street winter Takayama mountains snow

This is the view looking up the side of a small mountain about 2 blocks from my house:
Takayama Japan snow mountains

This is a house about 6 blocks away also on my street:
Takayama snow winter Japanese house

The falling snow was a nice touch to our holiday party weekend – Saturday afternoon was our school’s kids Christmas party, Saturday evening was our school’s adult Christmas party (dinner & karaoke), and Sunday afternoon was my kindergarten’s music & dance festival. The kindy festival was 3.5 hours long but it was pretty fun. Especially the Japanese version of “YMCA” including kids with neon afro wigs and wearing red, white, & blue stars & stripes outfits. It was pretty impressive overall, too, considering that there were 150 kids all 6 years old or younger performing in mostly smaller groups on stage for so long. Sunday evening we had a friend over for dinner. And the snow kept falling the whole time!

I’m pretty sure they don’t use salt here, but at places where people are exiting businesses or building, and in some parking lots, there are really low sprinklers going – pumping water out onto the cement or bricks, and the running water keeps the snow from sticking and from freezing. And everyone shovels. A lot. I haven’t seen or head a snow blower yet. There are these really wide shovels that you push with 2 hands and it’s a little slower but it’s good if you’re not as strong, it seems like. I haven’t seen any shovels like them in Chicago.