I spent a memorable long weekend at Iori village in Otari, Nagano, where everything was covered under a meter of snow.
I wanted to paint water colour out in freezing snow. Because I was so inspired by Darren Woodhead, who told me his experience of painting outside in Norway in winter. He said he had to heat the water bottle to paint, yet the minute he put the brush on the paper, the colour started to freeze and he could get ice marks on the painting surface. I wouldn't be that brave to try painting in such circumstances but at least, I pulled out my water colour in the snow. And yes! I could get those ice marks on my paper, where snow dropped on my paint. Although since it was not as cold and I flaccidly went inside right after I got the rough sketch, the ice on the paper melted and not many of those marks remained. Anyway, I tried and it was fun! (and very cold indeed.)
I stayed in an old Japanese cottage, which is renovated all by hand by an associate professor at Tokyo University of Agriculture. He even made a rocket stove by himself! It was primitive and hard but very beautiful lifestyle.
Mochi decoration for Koshogatzu (15 th Jan) made of rice flower. For this one, people dyed the mochi with turmeric and curry powder (yellow) and cacao powder (brown.)
That evening, we had Dondo bonfire. People piled up grasses and decorations for New Year such as pine branches and rice straw ropes, and lit the huge stack after the sunset. We baked this mochi on the bonfire and had them.
The last day, we went out with a shovel in hand to the field and started digging the snow in the certain area. Digging and digging about a meter, the snow looked transparent and here we dug out fresh green cabbages! It was such a joy and what a contrast of colour it was! The vivid light green balls in a pure white snow field!