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Japanese Winter Scenes

I waited 9 months to see my first snow in Japan. I desperately wanted to see a wood temple or shrine frosted in snow.

When the storm finally came, I was not disappointed. I wandered through the quiet streets of Tachikawa for a few hours, shooting a couple rolls of film.

The snow flakes were perfect.

Suwa Jinja

Big, and slow, just like a tacky little shake-up toy. The above picture was my favorite. I used it on our Christmas card that year.

I returned to the shrine one year later, to show some friends. Unfortunately, it had burned down. All that was left was a hole in the ground. The shrine may be gone, but it's not forgotten.

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Snow on a Pagoda in Kyoto

For the rest of my time in Japan, I was a snow chaser. I chased snow in Sendai. I chased snow in Kyoto. I chased snow in Yokohama.

Angie and Oshimo-san thought I was crazy, when it started snowing in Kyoto one day. None of us where dressed for it. Wrong shoes, no gloves. I wanted to stay anyway, and take pictures. We had a vote over staying or going back to Osaka. I was outvoted, but I won.

Bribery (in the way of food) ruled the day. It was worth it.

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Sankien, Yokohama

I grew up in Northern New York, where snow is a way of life, so I love snow.

When snow has freshly blanketed a town, all houses and grounds (old, new, dirty, clean, interesting or boring) become re-born. A fresh world. A new start. Like children in Catholic school uniforms, all snow covered objects are equal, and beyond judgment.

In pursuit of this ideal, I chased a Yokohama snow flurry to Sankien garden, during the next winter. I got these pictures there.

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Sankien, Yokohama