Jan 23, 2018

Snowkyo Snowmen

A lot of the news regarding yesterday's snowstorm was about companies needing to close early, the traffic accidents, and the disruptions to the public transportation system that the weather caused.  Serious issues, to be sure.

What did not make the news, however, was that the 23cm of perfect snowman-snow did seem to bring at least some people out to play.  I got to witness, and, in my own way, partake in this playing out in the falling snow.  Due to overcrowding and such on my train line, I ended up walking the last 4-ish kilometers home after work and I thoroughly enjoyed being out trudging through the snow!  It was beautiful and really fun to walk through, carefully.

As I walked along, I saw parents throwing snowballs with their children or chasing each other in the snowy back streets.

About halfway home, I came upon a small park where I saw the first two of the many snowmen I would see.  The "American-Style" one, complete with a carrot for a nose:

And the "Japanese-Style" one:

Later on, I came across three small ones guarding the front gate of a home:

Clearly people were out, or had been, and they were having fun.  Even on Facebook that was apparent.  A friend of mine posted a photo of a kamakura (a Japanese igloo-like snow hut) she had built while shoveling.

Today, it became clear just how popular making snowmen, especially, was this storm!  They were in all shapes and sizes.  I found some in what I consider unusual places:

I saw more on my lunch break as I took my usual stroll around Nishi-Shinjuku:

As I walked, it was, unsurprisingly, in Shinjuku Central Park where the largest number of snowmen were.  What was surprising to me was that people, mostly adults, were out building still more!  People were in several different places in the park making snowmen, or snow bunnies, or in one case some kind of alter-like sculpture.

The largest ball out there is actually a kamakura:

The largest snowman I found:

There was even one on a sidewalk:

And a couple:

Seeing all of the people out building and seeing the snowmen themselves brought a smile to my face.  I did not make one myself, though.  My enjoyment came from tromping through the snow and taking photos! 

Seeing so many snowmen in Nishi-Shinjuku, even in the park, surprised me because my image of the area is one of business and government and suits and seriousness, but clearly there is a lot more to the area than I thought...and / or those business people and government workers are more playful than their stereotype lets on.

Back in my office in the afternoon, I was talking with two of my coworkers and they both had made snowmen after getting back to their homes last evening.  Well, one made a snowman, and the other made a snowbear!

Snow like this is pretty rare in Tokyo and it melts, usually, pretty quickly.  I am glad some of us, at least, got out and enjoyed it, either its beauty or being able to play in it, or both!



I am a hiker, walker, and abundant photo-taker. After spending my first many years in Japan in Tochigi, I relocated to Tokyo at the end of 2012. I love visiting the numerous temples, shrines, castles, and former castles that can be found in the mountains, rural areas, and tucked away within cities.


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