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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

‘IN the win­ter, cold winds blow down from Siberia, pick up mois­ture over the Ja­pan Sea and drop it as snow when they strike the moun­tains. The west coast of the main is­land of Ja­pan is prob­a­bly for its lat­i­tude . . . the snowiest re­gion in the world. From De­cem­ber to April or May only the rail­roads are open . . . The term snow coun­try, then, does not sim­ply mean where snow falls. It means specif­i­cally the part of the main is­land that lies west of the cen­tral moun­tain range. It sug­gests long, grey win­ters, tun­nels un­der the snow, dark houses with rafters black from the smoke of win­ter fires . . .’

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