Here in Japan, we are heading into winter. My friends in the far north are already experiencing snow, and here in Yamagata-ken in Tohoku we are just starting our snowy winter. Our local mountains are covered in the white stuff and we are all looking out our rubber boots and warm woolies. As a person from Edmonton in Canada, I don't find the winter here cold, but I often am surprised by the amount of snow we receive.
In another Blog Linky Party entry, I mentioned Mt. Zao and how it borders two prefectures here in the north. The Yamagata card featuring Mount Zao shows the "Juhyo" or Ice Monsters. This website, about halfway down the page, describes how they are made.
This is a postcard of the "real" Ice Monsters on it. They are rather beautiful aren't they?
Winter Festivals are all over the northern part of Japan. Probably the most famous one is the Sapporo Snow Festival at the beginning of February, but there is another one in February. Akita Prefecture has the Yokote Kamakura Festival on February 15 and 16. Part of the festival involves buildings called kamakura made out of snow, rather like igloos, all over the city. There is usually an altar set up inside the kamakura at which people pray to the god of water.
Sadly, I don't have any postcard/photographs of the real kamakura in Yokote, but I do have this other artistic card of one. I am posting it because I think that it is rather beautiful!
The winter here in Northern Japan can be rather fierce and anything that helps people get through it enjoyably is great in my books!
Please visit the other members of the Blog Linky Party to see what fabulous cards they have posted about winter. Thanks for visiting me here in cold Northern Japan. Brrr!