2008 February 1 Friday.

Today is the beginning of the coldest month of the year in Asahikawa.

The winter festival will be starting in exactly one week.

The PhotoGraphic above/left in today's blog, is my visualization of what I call a Window Of Opportunity.

I have had many such moments in my life, and this is the kind of feeling I get, when I see one.

It makes me feel optimistic and ready for action.

In my case, right now, it is the light at the end of the tunnel, after a long winter.

In other words, I am looking forward to going to the Asahikawa Winter Festival next weekend.

A few weeks after that, the school graduation season starts.

Then, in early April, the new school year starts and shortly after that, Golden Week will be upon us.

Golden Week means that I will be on the road again, for a long drive, after many months of not driving that much, at all.

After about 5 months of snow on the ground, the end of April and the beginning of May, are the most fragrant season of the year.

Not so much the smell of flowers yet, but the smell of the dirt waking up from a long frozen hibernation.

It's the kind of subtle smell that anyone can intrinsically detect, in the deepest part of their nostrils.

How can a person make words or pictures that can transmit a smell or a taste sensation over the internet?

I have no idea. Maybe some day, it will be possible.

Maybe it already is possible, and I just don't know about it yet.

That is a distinct possibility.

To get a feeling for what the Asahikawa Winter Festival is like, there are several photo slideshows of it on this website.

For example, the photos I took in February of 2005, can be viewed by clicking here.

The photos from 2005 are mostly of the main pedestrian shopping mall called KaiMonoKoEn  買物公園.

The most recent photos I took of this same event are from 2006, and can be viewed by clicking here.

These photos are mostly of the Riverline Park area, bordering on Tokiwa Park.

This is a whole other world, unto itself.

Even though both locations are less than two kilometers apart.

See you all there again, in both locations, at next weekend's event.