In what will almost certainly be my final “holiday within a holiday” from Japan, I today booked flights to head up to the grim north of Hokkaido in February for the Sapporo Snow Festival. This massive celebration of snow and ice runs for a week, and as well as seeing bits of it in Sapporo, me and pal Pete plan to drive up to the north coast of Hokkaido to take a trip out in an ice-breaker ship, as well as visiting his home somewhere in the middle of, well, nowhere (sorry Pete). All sounds fantabulous, and it means that while my Christmas will once again be spent on a beach, my february will be spent in a place that is as snow filled as can be. Hurrah for snow!