Lots of snow in Niigata, some snow in Kyoto

Clearing snow in Niigata
from Yahoo! Japan News

Niigata (新潟) is an area of Japan that's gotten a lot of snow -- more than 12 feet (3.8 meters) so far this year. Yesterday on the news I saw a video of a tiny car driving down the street, with accumulated snow still on its roof. The snow was at least as tall above the top of the car as the car itself was tall above the road (about four and a half feet each, I'd guess). Someone had chiseled this thing out of a snowbank, cleared the snow from the hood and windows, and left all the snow on the roof. What had previously been a tiny car was now nine or ten feet tall. It was both impressive and comical. I searched on the web for a similar still photo, but couldn't find it.

We were supposed to have gotten some snow ourselves last night, so I was surprised to wake up to find just a few flakes falling. By the countable flakes on a car roof I could see, it had apparently just started snowing. When I next glanced out some 20 minutes later, I was again surprised, this time to see a thick blanket of white.

Of course, my camera is broken and my new one is still on order, but here's a shot from our last snow which approximates what we have now:

I hope we get a pleasantly pretty blanket that stays for a while, as my old neighbor from Cupertino is arriving tonight with his adult son on the first leg of an around the world trip. They're in Kyoto for about 40 hours, then in Tokyo for a couple days, then Nairobi, Ireland, and London

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