29th February: Nikko – Traffic Chaos

Walking on past the Hachiman Temple, I saw a curious chain of events unfolding in front of me.  The truck you see above, an LNG tanker, had been slowly progressing up the hill when its wheels started spinning in the snow and ice and it had to stop at the side of the road.  You can see a couple of cars passing it.

Another truck has come up behind it and there are some cars behind that.  The car on the left is parked at a strange angle and my guess is that it is abandoned after traction problems.

As an aside, it can sometimes be easy to lose track of your camera settings when it is encased in a weather cover.  I suspect I had it on manual and had forgotten to adjust for changing light.  The image out of the camera looked blown, almost completely white.  Image quality would have been better had the exposure been correct but it’s amazing what you can pull out in Lightroom.  Provided, of course, that you are shooting RAW.

Here there is some more traffic coming down the hill past the truck.

Now that they have gone, the second truck pulls out to overtake.  I keep on walking.

The second truck got in trouble too.  Half-way through the passing manoeuvre, wheels started spinning and it slid sideways towards the right hand side of the road.  The road is now completely blocked.  This is the main road through Nikko and there are no side roads to divert through here.  If the road stayed blocked, getting through would require going back about 10 kilometres to the motorway.

Fortunately, when the truck went to try and overtake, the car behind it stayed where it was and did not move up into the vacant space.  The first truck to get stuck, the LNG tanker, was able to carefully slide back and create a space for cars to drive through.

And now the cars are able to continue, directed through by the truck driver from the LNG tanker.  Not enough room for the Kinetsu truck waiting behind though.  I didn’t stay to watch what transpired further.  I had a plane to catch.

It just goes to show that your travel plans need to be appropriate for the conditions.  The previous day was fine as the weather report had predicted.  I would have had no chance of getting up and down the hill to Lake Chuzenji and beyond in these conditions.

Even so, I was concerned that I still had to take the rental car back downtown.  There were some narrow side streets to go through to get there and I really didn’t want to encounter any oncoming traffic on them.  Fortunately I didn’t and I drove very slowly back to the rental car company without any misadventures.

From there, I caught the train back to Tokyo and later that night, a plane back to Australia….

4 comments on “29th February: Nikko – Traffic Chaos

  1. […] 29th February:  Nikko – Traffic Chaos […]


  2. Kurt says:

    Solid series of shots.


  3. Murray Foote says:

    Thanks, Kurt. I think I’m going to have to watch out more for sequences. I tend to look for images that are complete in themselves but sometimes it can work well to have a succession of shots that tell a story.


  4. […] Nikko – Traffic Chaos (7 mono images, Nikko, Honshu, Japan) […]


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