Clearly the thing to do when surrounded by snow is to make a snowperson
Last weekend I drove up to Gokayama, in Toyama prefecture to see what I could see. What I saw was a lot and lot and lot of snow. It snowed exactly once all winter in Tokyo. By comparison in Gokayama there were snow drifts taller than me – and in some places, taller than the car.
Oh look! He’s mah buddy!
The journey through the winding mountain roads reminded me of the harrowing trip I made to Eiheiji temple a few years back in so far as the entire way I was certain that I was going to die in some snowy, horribly cold way, either by sliding off the icy roads to the frozen lagoons below (itself recalling uncomfortable allusions to the Cliffs of Death journey also undertaken years prior) or else by inadvertantly triggering an avalanche or driving into a 4 meter tall snowbank at full speed never to be found until the spring thaw. However, by the grace of providence, I somehow made it (there and back, as it would appear), with only a few scary “oh hey look, we’re sliding into the next lane and here comes opposing traffic!” moments in between.
Mistar snowman becomes a juggling accessory…?
Gokayama itself wasn’t that interesting – it is technically a World Heritage Site, but pales in comparison to others I have been to. It’s main claim to fame is its collection of gassho zukuri grass thatched old style Japanese farm houses originally designed for silk worm harvesting or something like that (I vaguely remember reading that somewhere). The problem was that when I arrived everything was buried under meters of snow, it was well cold, and also, unfortunately, I had already seen a much larger collection of gassho zukuri houses during a previous trip to Hida Takayama with mah good buddy KC. Jeesh, what is going on here? I’ve just scattered like three or four links back to previous posts I have written in between a bunch of pictures of myself in this entry. Goodness, this blog is turning into some sort of self-referential exercise in narcissistic exhibitionism. Sorry about that folks
But it appears he shall have his revenge in the end…!
And while Gokayama might not have been as interesting as I imagine it would be during the summer/had I not already seen enough gassho zukuri to last me a lifetime (and mind you, I’m not trying to dissuade you from going – if you’re in the area (errm, for whatever reason, like say you’re lost in the mountains of north central honshu), by all means, swing by and visit it!), this is not to say the journey was bust! Because despite having spent several painful years of my childhood fleeing from wild cow stampedes in the frozen blustery farm fields of northern wisconsin, it had actually been a few years since I’d seen some proper snowfall, so it seemed to me prime opportunity to engage in a bit of snowpanda tomfoolery. You know: snowball fights, snowjumping, making snowpanda-angels, that sort of thing.
Well, I don’t really have much else to say, so umm, onto the pictures!
*sigh* “I warned him about throwing snowballs up in the air like that…”
“Speaking of throwing snowballs… take this!!” HYAAAH!
“What the…!!?? AAAUUUGGHH!! mmmphhh…!“
“How do you like them apples? Who’s the snowball fight champion now, huh?”
The backdrop for snowpanda fun adventure. White. All white!
A snow covered gassho zukuri house.
… and another one. Notice the height of the snow in relation ot the doorway on the right.
Taking a picture of a picture of a… ditch?
Snow jump panda!!!
It’s all fun and games until someone gets a mouthful of snow…
A creepy tanuki by a gift shop. Looks… bohemian?
Those icicles could really hurt you if they fell on you…
Getting in the car for the slushy ride back…
A final sweeping snowy farewell.
Elevator shot snow panda. Because it’s not good enough for myspace unless you’re holding the camera and shooting your reflection in the mirror…
And that about wraps up this entry! Thank you for reading!
Now listening to: “Above & Beyond – Air for Life”