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In the morning we woke to find Ikusaka transformed by a thick blanket of snow and shrouded in mist and looking just really otherworldly. With great care and attention I shovelled the road clear in front of the house – Nao thought it was (maybe, probably) the expected thing for every conscientious villager to do – which was actually super satisfying to do – I made nice crisp edges and was very well pleased with myself. It was totally unnecessary as it turns out. The snow on the road melted by the afternoon and all I achieved was to build two enormous heaps of snow which will now take much longer to melt.

Then we put on snow wear and ventured out. We thought we would go to the bakery as it seems there’s a really great bakery in Ikusaka called Morph Bakery (and we wanted to try their Oyaki). That didn’t work out though as the bakery wasn’t open (we later found out they had a power outage) so we will have to wait for another day to visit, but anyway it got us out and exploring.

Plan B was the road station where they sell local produce, but the electricity was down there too so that was a no go as well. By late afternoon the roads had cleared enough to head over to Azumino to appease hungry children with promised baked goods.

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