Tokyo Diaries – Snowpocalypse, the Aftermath

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So fleeting, this fragile beauty.

There’s definitely a metaphorical component to watching the snow melt away almost as quickly as it arrived in Tokyo.  We ended up getting 27 CM officially (just about 11″) which is a respectable snowstorm even by Chicago standards.  For Tokyo it was the largest snowfall since 1966, which certainly makes it a historically important event that I was happy to be here to see.

Sadly, this being Tokyo the aftermath of the blizzard wasn’t arctic cold but 7 degree (Centigrade) weather with sunshine, so I figured I’d better get out and see some of the city before all this magic had dissipated.  I decided on Shinjuku Gyoen, one of my favorite places in the world.  I’ve now officially visited it in all seasons, and it looks good in any of them.  But even by late this morning it was already pretty gloppy in a lot of places.  I’d thought to visit Meiji Jingu tomorrow after school, but at this rate almost all of the snow may be gone by then.

Shinjuku Gyoen did look great, though.  There were plenty of snowmen (including this one which somehow in a Rorschach way put me in mind of Rodin’s “The Thinker”) and still a layer of ice on most of the ponds.  You’ll note what I call the “Makai Shinkai Pavillion” – as always now, occupied by a couple – with a coat of snow on the roof.  Also, it’s actually Ume (plum) blossom season in Tokyo already, and some of the hardy early-bloomers were already exposing their new flowers to the elements.

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  1. e

    Going by the flowers on her head that snowman was meant to be a snowlady maybe? :D.
    The Tokyo snowfall made the Italian TV news even btw. And being so shortlived (so transient this beauty… so fitting the country I'd be tempted to say :p ) if anything allowed to pictoresque to prevail on the troublesome aspects of heavy snowfall.
    These are among your best Tokyo diaries pictures so far. Thanks for sharing.

  2. e

    P.S.: ahh I can see the Rodin bit. For me is the general shape coupled with all that 'movement' on the surface.

  3. H

    You mean "Makoto Shinkai pavilion"? 😛 And wow, how do you get 11 inches of snow and then have it half melt by the next day, I'm so used to having snow stick around for months that I'm completely baffled by that. XD (although 7 Celsius must be around 40 Fahrenheit….)

  4. Wow, that was a weird typo.

    7 Celsius is more than 40, closer to 50. In Chicago a major snowstorm is almost invariably followed by a major cold snap, so yes, this is an odd thing for me too…

  5. S

    Haha, I have to say that particular snowman reminds me more of this fellow from Spirited Away:

  6. n

    The Thinker got me in a philosophical mood. The ambiguity of the shape slowly melting… you sure that's a snowman btw?

    Oh and I know have to watch the Shinkai movie, but somehow I always feel reluctant to actually do so because every movie he makes gets me in a total melancholy mode. That's why I like Kumo no Mukō more than 5cm/s. Well, I love them both actually, but if I were asked which movie I would wanna watch tonight with a beer in my hand I'd choose the former.

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