Snow. It happens about once a year in Tokyo and then lasts for about a day or two, if the duck and I believe the accounts of the people we’ve been talking to. This year, however, seems to have been colder and whiter, at least than the past four (or 48). And, because Tokyo has an efficiently interlinked railroad network, things can get a bit crazy if it snows.
On Monday, the fateful day of all that snow, for example, the duck and I sat on a stopped train for almost an hour. Let me give you some of the backstory first:
It had started to snow in the late morning and kept on snowing until the evening.
Because of that lots of companies sent their employees home early to avoid any potential snow chaos due to worsening of the weather (and, at the same time, they created their own chaos that manifested itself in jam-packed stations in the afternoon with station staff having to turn people away for a few minutes because the platforms had hit capacity). Because of that, when we got on our first train out of three, hours after the advanced rush hour, we were pretty optimistic (there were some delays, but no long-term halts on our lines). However, somewhere close to our destination things slowed down a lot and finally ceased to move at all…
The train doors, usually staying wide open to invite in all running passengers and a few of those foreigners worried that they’d have to wait ten minutes for the next crowded train, closed after a few minutes and we were asked to use the buttons (that the duck and I have spent hours looking at whenever we stood close to the door on a crowded train, always wondering about when they would be used) if we needed to. In the following minutes the train got so very peaceful, despite the quiet ongoing conversations among some passengers. Maybe the white fluffy snow outside had to do with it? Some passengers took this opportunity to catch up on some sleep. I caught up on some studying and wrote this blog post.
The announcement, dozens of minutes later, about the train making a move soon was answered by a wave of happy sighs and the station melody that usually plays when a train is about to leave a station was music in our ears (well,… of course it was). Even in the first announcement on the once again moving train observant passengers could notice a relieved pause before the name of the next station was called. At last.
Gosh, snow in Tokyo sure is something.
And because it’s something beautiful, as well, here are a few more photos that the duck and I took with my lousy phone camera when we had finally managed to forget about our frozen limbs and enjoyed the beauty of a much emptier Tokyo covered in a white
icy cold beautiful blanket.
Snowy greetings from Tokyo!
The duck and a frozen me.