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.