It rarely snows in Tokyo. And even if it does, it would be the light fluffy kind. The kind of snow that melts as soon as it touches the ground.
Hence, twenty five centimetres of snow was a rare sight. And likely something that the city was not prepared for. This happened the week while I was in Tokyo. For work. The heavy blanket of snow caused the roof of a stadium in Yokohama to collapse. It was fortunate that no one was injured.
The work forum that I attended ended on Friday. We were to head for dinner at a nearby restaurant. The elevator took us to the ground floor. We walked out of the lobby, and a winter wonderland greeted us. But not for long. Due to the conditions, there was not much traffic on the streets. We had difficulty hailing taxis, and hence had to walk a kilometre to the restaurant.
Imagine the sight: you get a bunch of salarymen in suits, clutching tight to their umbrellas, trudging with care. The thick layer could have covered the drains and obstacles. Immediately, my Indonesian colleague slipped on the ice slate and had a bad fall.
We finally arrived at the empty restaurant. Everyone headed home early to avoid the possibility of stalled trains. It was rather surreal, just us, and the waiters, in the large empty eatery.
The other problem about snow, is that it does not always stay solid. The following day, there were puddles of water formed by melted ice, which was bordered by the more resilient snow. The excessive water flow flooded parts of Tokyo in fact.
It was the weekend after all. I walked on the sun-casted pavement, with my hands in my pocket. Soaked it all in - the temperature, the flavour, the essence of the city. It was as if that the snow came by to keep me company.
And sure it did. For a simple yet memorable weekend. In Tokyo.