I'm now in Narita airport awaiting my flight to return to the states. My travels from Myokokogen to Tokyo today provided an excellent example of the remarkable climate transition that exists across the Japanese island of Honshu.
This was the scene last night when I went to bed. Just like Alta, it doesn't need a reason to snow in Myokokogen. It needs a reason to stop.
Did it stop overnight? Nada. Another 50 cm (20 inches) at the lodge and in town and 70 cm (28 inches) on the upper mountain. Crazy.
My hat goes off to Michael and Tamami at the Myoko Mountain Lodge for going well beyond the call of duty to get me out of Dodge. When I woke up at 6 AM, Michael was already out blowing out the walks and cars and Tamami was calling the railroads. No service to the nearby station, so Michael drove me off the mountain and got me on the train. Kudos as well to the remarkable Japanese snow removal systems for keeping the roads passable.
I suspect that the climate transition across the Cascades and Sierras is more abrupt than that of Honshu, but nevertheless, the contrast from the Snowpacalypse in Myokokogen to the Tokyo area was staggering. In Tokyo, on the western side of Honshu, it was a beautiful day with the only snow in sight on Mt. Fuji.