We had decided when we left Canada that we would be snow birds and avoid bad weather in Japan. We visited Yayoi's home town during Christmas and had enough of snow there to satisfy us. We moved further south to. Oume, Tokyo. Then when things were in place we hopped on a Skymark plane ( new budget airline) and flew to Fukuoka. From there we visited Nagasaki for a day and then took a bus to Kagoshima where Yayoi was going to attempt to find out more about her mother's true roots (long story). We stayed in a weekly mansion for a week, but felt we could not afford it, so we applied for expensive WWOOFer memberships and moved to Gando farm. We work hard, get some food from our host and an old house which four WWOOFers share. BUT what most people in Canada do not realize is that there is no central heating in Japan. So unless we leave the main islands of Japan and go south to Okinawa we will be cold all day and night unless we are working hard.
The problem is that on top of the other disasters Japan has suffered in the last 12 months, it is now more than 10'C colder than normal here in Kagoshima and today (February 2, 2012) we were allowed to quit work because of a cold wind and snow that still forms a thin layer on the vegetation outside. And remember we did not expect this and are not dressed for this. We can see our breathe everywhere in the house except in the family room in which we have a few small space heaters. In the morning the temperature in the bedroom is a few degrees above zero. We do have a one person heating pad under our futon beds across our leg area.
Yes, we are trapped as many parts of Japan other than here have 4-5 times as much snow as usual.