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Night In White Satin

"Tokyo hit by heaviest snow since 2014" - whenever the first snowfall hits Tokyo, the city sinks into inescapable chaos. Traffic chaos, that is, not so much caused by the weather itself, but by an ever-swelling tsunami of frantic commuters heeding the advice of companies and authorities to hasten home as soon as possible. When I left work at 17:30 tonight, I expected slightly more traffic than usual, but of course that thought turned out to be hopelessly naive: when I reached Shibuya Station, the passengers waiting for my line had already been queuing up outside the ticket gates: at least 200 metres and in rows of four. An endless, motionless line. Plan B, another train, same queue.

That's what stations in and around Tokyo looked like:

snow_01.jpg

Musashikosugi Station, passengers waiting in lines at least hundred metres long. As no trains came in, the crowds were growing by the minute.

Fed up with waiting, I decided to walk home - a daunting march of 10 kilometres. A commute of usually 50 minutes turned into three hours: one hour on the train and two hours trudging through the deep snow.

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Shortcut through the cemetery.

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Looks like daylight, but it was actually pretty dark (iPhone camera).

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Our area got up to 30 centimetres of snow.

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An uncommon sight: a completely deserted Tōmei Expressway. I wasn't the only one capturing that rare sight by camera.

"The Japan Weather Association urges women to avoid wearing high heels and other slippery shoes, and urges people to use backpacks to keep their hands free in case they slip or fall." (Japan Times, 22 January 2018)

Sound advice.

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