Winter in Japan can be a real bastard of a season. The skies are oppressive, the rain relentless, and the cold inescapable. My memory (if it's to be trusted) tells me that last year at this time, we were well into the throes of cold, rainy, terrible, damp, blah. And so I am cherishing and celebrating each moment that the sun and warmth manage to cling to the edges of the day. Because I know that I have three months of seasonal affective disorder to look forward to. I'll need to preserve images like these in my mind's eye to get me through.