The next morning, I headed to Gontran Cherrier for breakfast, before heading for snow.

The pastries were delicate and very delicious.

I couldn’t pass up getting an almond croissant.
P1142538

After breakfast, and a quick stop off at a convenience store for supplies, I headed for the JR station, to take a shinkansen north towards Yuzawa.

P1142573
P1142566

Before long, it was time to depart.

P1142562

The shinkansen accelerated smoothly out of the station, and as we pulled out of Tokyo it began to pick up speed.

P1142597

The landscape quickly changed before my eyes

P1142604 P1142613
P1142608 P1142633

The shinkansen was heading for the rolling hills, getting closer all the time. And with it, the stormy looking clouds overhead.

P1142647 P1142678
P1142670 P1142684

And then, quite suddenly, the shinkansen entered a tunnel in one of the mountains…

P1142702

And emerged on the other side into…

P1142707

Snow. A lot of snow.

I exited the platform and headed through Yuzawa station.

P1142711

Thankfully, the station itself had a lot of cafés, shops and attractions. Considering how heavy the snow was falling, this was a nice fallback to have.

After taking a moment to get my bearings, I headed out of the station and into snow, for the first time in my life.

P1142715

It was falling heavily. There’s something gentle about the way snow falls which seems so innocuous. This is at complete odds with the havoc it wreaks, as I soon learned to appreciate.

P1142719

I headed down the snowy street, in search of a highly rated lunch place.

P1142721
P1142722

Slipping and sliding, I realised how inadequate my boots were for this weather. Every footstep had to be measured and taken deliberately, and with no side walk, I was sharing some of the road that cars were slipping and sliding on.

P1142724 P1142755
P1142750 P1142762

The restaurant in question was not that far from the station, and yet, with having to walk carefully, stop to navigate cars, and avoid the slush their tyres kicked up as they drove past, it seemed to take forever…

P1142778

Finally, I arrived, spending a good five minutes outside the restaurant getting snow off myself and my bag.

Inside was pleasant and warm, a nice refrain from the snowy conditions outside.

P1142780

I opted for a warming Katsu set.

P1142784

Before long, it was time to turn around and face the freezing temperatures again.

P1142788 P1142792
P1142789 P1142800

It didn’t take too long to have my fill of snow for the day, before feeling content to head off.

It was an amazing experience, but I had a newfound appreciation for some of the practicalities of snow, that my romanticied notion of it from the media hadn’t conveyed.

Soon, I was speeding along on a shinkansen back to Tokyo.

P1142802

Some time later, I headed out for a bar near my hotel.

and people udagawa
宇田川町10-2 (新東京ビル 4F) Shibuya, Tōkyō
¥
Price
Bar
Place
★ ★ ★ ★

A warming cocktail and some pizza later, and it was time to turn in for the night.