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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Chichibu snow news

February 21 2014

Many parts of Chichibu are still isolated, including the mountainous areas around Mitsumine Shrine, Nakatsugawa and Urayama as the roads are impassable. The helicopters are still flying over all day with supplies and self-defense force personnel. The main route 299 from the south was just opened on Wednesday and the Seibu Chichibu line just resumed operation on its whole route at around 4pm this afternoon. Chichibu Railway is still under snow from Kagemori to Mitsumine-guchi.  The snow removal vehicle cannot come the whole way since there is an avalanche warning.

Our junior high school students made it onto NHK news and into the Yomiuri newspaper as the school had to hold classes in local community halls within walking distance of the students since they could not get the train to school. At our local hall near our house, three teachers and sixteen students attended “school” and received a school lunch of milk and plain bread (no jam) on Thursday. Our 91 year old neighbor noticed that is all the students got for lunch, so on Friday she cooked a huge pot of noodles and carried it to the students! What a star!

My father in law (79) is still digging snow during the day, and enjoying his whiskey and coke at night.

Here is a picture of Chichibu Railway lines under there somewhere, with the bamboo crossing poles snapped off and lying in the snow.

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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in fun stuff

 

Biggest snow on record in Chichibu

February 16 2014

96cm of snow and the roads are paralyzed as well as the Chichibu Railway and Seibu Railway from Koma towards Chichibu.

We’ve dug out a pathway, but there is no further to go today until the snow plough comes to open up the road tomorrow, or maybe the next day. They are busy trying to clear Route 140 which is still impassable. We cannot even get as far as Route 140. This is our local road.

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speeding right along!

speeding right along!

 

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Posted by on February 16, 2014 in fun stuff

 

Time to dig us out of the record snow!

Let’s follow the process of Ojichan (my 79 year old father in law) as he starts on the epic journey to dig us out.

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I’d better go and help!

Bye!

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Record Snow!!!

February 15, 2014

Last week we had the biggest snowfall in 48 years, knocking out Chichibu Railway for nearly two days, which is unprecedented. Today we have an even bigger snowfall. Just over to the west in Kofu, Yamanashi, it is the biggest snowfall for 118 years. Biggest snowfall just East in Kumagaya too, recorded at 62cm this morning and still going. Can’t tell you anymore details as the TV reception has gone off!

Cannot get out the front door either. So all the photos were taken looking out from the windows.

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It is very quiet except for the sound of the bamboo snapping.

 

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in fun stuff

 

“Robai” (Japanese allspice) Blossoms in Nagatoro, Chichibu

February is for yellow Japanese allspice blossoms under clear Winter blue skies. I wish I could send you the fragrance! These photos are from Nagatoro, Chichibu and it was lucky we got there early before the crowds. Most people take the cable car up to the top of the mountain where the Robai are blooming but each cable car can only fit 50 people. So in the middle of the day you might have to wait half an hour till the next one.

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Not so us. We walked up the mountain fairly early in about an hour. Only a few fellow walkers and one with a dog and it took us just under an hour from Hodosan Shrine at the bottom to the park at the top. Then it was down on the cable car in time for morning coffee at Miyama Gelati in the middle of the pedestrian walkway down to the river in Nagatoro. That’s a very important detail…..

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walking up Mt. Hodosan

walking up Mt. Hodosan

 

Hodosan Shrine (one star in Michelin Guide)

Hodosan Shrine (one star in Michelin Guide)

Coming down on the cable car named "Bambi"!

Coming down on the cable car named “Bambi”!

And for the children reading- here is Peter Rabbit, courtesy of a prominent bank which is sponsoring the regeneration of part of the forest.

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