Wacky Weather.

This is my first winter in Japan with wheels and I wasn't sure whether it'd weather the weather but it came out relatively unscathed after our first major snowfall. Yesterday was a holiday, Coming of Age Day and a fire festival wherein participants burn their New Year's decorations and their Rabbits* dubbed Don't Sigh. (*They don't actually burn Rabbits, rather their icon from last year's Year of the Rabbit.) It was damned cold yesterday and it snowed ALL day culminating in over 15cm of the white fluffy stuff. I didn't attend the bonfire but for the first time I was fortunate enough to see the 裸参り (Hadaka Mairi = Naked Pilgrimage).

It's a purification ritual intended to measure one's endurance. A piece of paper, sometimes with a coin enwrapped, is gripped in your teeth to ensure quiet contemplation. I think it's to keep one from shivering and complaining. One of my friends has done the trek three years in a row!

I spent a good hour in the morning brushing off my car and shoveling around it. I made two guardians to protect it from the snowstorm.

I popped into NHK to see what the latest Balloon creature would be and then had lunch at Sasebo for an Avocado burger. They too had a pair of guardians.

I returned home a few hours later and discovered that my guardians had become mummified!

 My drive to work only took an extra hour today (Japan has a policy of not removing the snow but rather having trucks and buses driving over it with chains on their tires crushing the snow into the pavement and making millions of mini-speed bumps.) Once I arrived at the school, I had to dig out a spot in the parking lot in order to park my car!

I wonder what tomorrow shall bring?

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