Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tokyo Snows

It is upon a rare occasion that snows fall on Tokyo. That isn't to say they never do, but maybe every half decade or so there will be enough to disrupt the traffic of the metropolis. In more northerly climes and along the Japan Sea coast, local ordinances require cars to don snow tires during the winter months come icy blasts or no, but not Tokyo. When the snow sprinkles, chaos reigns. The highways close, the normally clock perfect train system is delayed and drivers put their foot down as if it's a summer's day. And wonder why they spin. And then the tunnels close too and people leave cars, keys in the ignition so the rescue services can move them later, taking to shanks' pony home.

The airports will see hundreds of cancelled flights and yet optimistic travelers still battle the elements to arrive on time for a blanket and a piece of floor for the night. Daylight sees planes, great stranded steel birds, queueing for a gate to load tired but stoic passengers and finally take them to the skies. There is little dissent or disruption, and if there is, it is more than likely not of Japanese making. People just politely accept their lot, keep calm and carry-on as it were.

I once walked, in an early morning, past a school where the teachers were clearing the snow in front of the gates. This is seen as something of a civic duty, an act in which almost all of the population will engage. One of the teachers was a young woman in a business suit and high heels and, with her colleagues, she was shoveling as best she could. Being western my initial thought was to help, take the shovel and complete the task for her. But stopping to think from her perspective I realized she wasn't there to clear the snows, but to be seen to be making her own contribution. If I took the shovel she'd more than likely continue with her bare hands. In trying to help, I'd be making the situation worse. And so I lent her my gloves, asking if she would leave them on the wall when she had finished. And there they were the next day, folded neatly, exactly where I'd asked her to leave them. And so Tokyo may fall apart in the winter weather, but the people remain Japanese. Polite and thinking of others. Happy snow storm.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate
    your efforts and I am waiting for your further write ups thank you once again.

  2. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other
    websites? I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and
    would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would appreciate your work.

    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me
    an email.

  3. This info is worth everyone's attention. How can I find out more?

  4. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog
    with my zynga group? There's a lot of folks that I
    think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

  5. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is
    fantastic, let alone the content!

  6. Hi, after reading this remarkable piece of writing i am too
    glad to share my knowledge here with colleagues.

  7. After going over a few of the blog articles on your blog,
    I really like your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back
    in the near future. Please check out my website as well
    and tell me how you feel.

  8. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading
    it, you may be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will often come back later in life.
    I want to encourage you continue your great job, have a nice day!

  9. Hey very interesting blog!

  10. Saved as a favorite, I really like your web site!

  11. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your
    further write ups thanks once again.

  12. You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites on the
    net. I am going to highly recommend this website!

  13. Fabulous, what a webpage it is! This weblog gives helpful facts to us, keep it

  14. There's certainly a great deal to know about this topic. I love all of the points you have made.

  15. Hey very nice blog!

  16. Hola! I've been following your site for a long time now and finally got the bravery
    to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas!

    Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!