Most of these photos were taken on the Hanawa railway line on the way back to Morioka from Odate. The train line makes its way through the mountains that divide Akita from Iwate, through national forests, tired onsen towns, old mining areas. In winter the snow can be very deep. There was serious snow while we were up in Odate - more than 60cm in one day (areas around Tottori much further south had extreme snow). The snow that was falling was 'bota yuki' - wet and heavy snow (as opposed to dry powdery snow). My uncle's saying 'snow is pretty on a postcard' has more than a grain of truth. It is pretty - and the Hanawa line (which takes longer than the bus, even when it's the express) is one of my favourite trainlines in Japan so far - along with the Uetsu line from Murakami to Sakata in Niigata / Yamagata. But shovelling snow wears thin after a while, and it makes for treacherous driving conditions, particularly when it melts and refreezes.
The train windows were very foggy, and while I used considerable newspaper to wipe the window clean, some of the photos have bit of fog on the edges.
|Snow but not cold enough to freeze rivers|
|Not a cemetry with crosses - rows for eggplant or beans? buried under snow.|
|Snow halfway up the side of the house|
|The carpark at Itoku supermarket|
|Hiro's father with a snow clearing machine|