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Traveling in the Snow

ID番号 N31348 更新日 平成26年12月22日

Walking

Be careful when walking outside in the winter. You’ll want to get some boots with rubber soles to help you traverse the often icy paths. Try to walk near walls and fences so you can grab on to something when you slip. Black ice can be particularly treacherous, so always try to walk on top of snow if available. You may want to observe other people who have perfected the Iwate Shuffle – walk slowly placing your full foot on the ground, and shuffle atop the ice.

 

Driving

Only the main roads are plowed so you need to equip your car with snow tires (スタッドレスタイヤ、sutaddoresu taiya). It’s best to change your tires over to snow tires by November or so – if you have a rental, your agency will take care of this for you, but if you own your car you will have to do it yourself. Familiarize yourself with winter driving, including safe braking on ice and snow driving. Try not to drive if you don’t have to.

 

Driving Tips on the Snow and Ice

Always, always equip your car with snow tires.

Drive slowly.

Always decelerate when approaching a curve.

When crossing an intersection, check for other cars coming, even more than you would usually do so. Ice may cause other cars to skid through stop signs and red lights.

Be careful crossing bridges, as they are prone to freezing.

After snow has been plowed, the roads are usually slippery than normal.

Always stay a safe distance behind snow plows.

Try to leave with more than enough time to get to where you are going.

Don’t park near roofs where the snow might fall.

When parking, keep your car in P if automatic, or 1st/rear gear if manual.

Raise your wipers up when parked during a snowfall. They may freeze to the front window.

 

Check the following site for information on road closures and other delays. Unfortunately it’s only available in Japanese.

http://www.douro.com/

 

Buses

All buses in Iwate will run in the snow, but some may be delayed. Check for information on each company’s website. Unfortunately, this information is also in Japanese.

 

Iwate Prefectural Transportation 岩手県交通, Iwateken Kotsu)

Northern Iwate Transportation岩手県北バス, Iwate Kenpoku Basu)

JR Tohoku BusesJRバス東北, JR Basu Tohoku)

 

*Iwate Prefectural Transportation runs the green and blue buses, and Northern Transportation runs the red buses. JR buses are blue and white.

 

Trains

Rarely, trains will be delayed due to snow. You can view snow delays by checking the JR, IGR, or Sanriku Railroad websites.

JR East Train Status

IGR Rail Train Status (JPN only)

Sanriku Railroad Status North Line (JPN only)

Sanriku Railroad Status South Line (JPN only)

 

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