Opening my heavy eyes this frosty morning, I turned to my right side and opened my polka dot curtains ever slightly to take a peek outside.
“Good, it’s cloudy, but it’s not snowing yet. I can bike to work.”
I hit the snooze button on my alarm and fell back to sleep.
I woke up 20 minutes later and put on my glasses to take another peek outside.
“Oh, crap! I was wrong. It’s snowing like crazy! I have to walk to work!”
Turns out, the snow had blended into the gray clouds, and without my glasses, I had failed to see the storm brewing outside.
Winter has definitely come to Toyama, one of the snowiest prefectures in Japan. This part of Japan, as well as other neighboring prefectures on Japan’s northwest coast, is referred to as Japan’s snow country, or yukiguni 雪国. While the northeast of Japan is blessed with cool but usually sunny weather most of winter, the west gets pounded with heavy snowfall and thick clouds that suffocate any trace of blue sky.
This morning, when I realized I had to trek through the snow and make it to school as quickly as possible, I ran to the toilet, washed my face and teeth and put a piece of frozen toast in the oven as I slid my pants and boots on.
On most days when it’s not raining, my commute to work looks like this from my bike:
Today, it looked like this from my two front feet (all day, mind you. The snow never let up):
Indeed, here comes the snow.