My post is not a reference to the financial gloom that grips the world, and very much Japan, at present, but the fact that tonight the the streets of Ojiya are a sea of ice!

I mentioned earlier that there had been a bit of snow around over the last 24 hours or so.  The roads of Ojiya are lined with a system of water sprinklers which clear the snow from them.  All day they’ve been running.  Also throughout the day the residents of Ojiya have been laboriously  clearing the snow from outside their houses which, in most part, are straight onto the road.  There aren’t pavements and kerbs around most of the streets in Ojiya.

I also mentioned earlier how, at the end of the day, the sun had shone through and the snow clouds had cleared.  Whilst that was pleasant then, the flip side was a clear sky as darkness came.  With it the temperatures plummetted.  In doing so the thin layer of water left by the sprinklers, which turn off when the snow stops, and the thin later of snow and water left by those clearing their properties, has frozen turning the streets of Ojiya into an ice rink!

To say the roads and pavements are treacherous is by no means an understatement.

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