Clearing snow? - A job made much easier with the right shovel!

There’s been an awful lot of snow this year already.  Removing all of it is a seriously tough job.  You wake up in the morning and have to clear the walkway and then around your car, only to come home to find more snow has fallen and you have to do it all over again!
Every house in Hokkaido is sure to have a snow shove.  In fact, they probably have more than one.  Maybe one for heavier snow that seems to land with a thud when you throw it, and perhaps another for light snow that kind of flies as you clear it from a path.  Whatever the weather, it’s important to have the right shovel for the snow.  So today, I’ll you a couple different varieties available. 
Home supply stores usually have a good selection for snow shovels, so we went to the Homac depot on Kitano Dori in Sapporo.
The basic snow shovel is popularly called a Jonba.  It’s unclear where the nickname came from, but you’re likely to find one of these in just about every household. 
The addition of a curve to the handle appeared a few years ago.  It is designed to make lifting the shovel once full with snow much easier on your lower back.  It should make shoveling a little less strenuous. 
Yet another tool, called a pusher, is used for just that - pushing the snow - rather than shoveling it.  It’s good when you have a larger area to clear.
With various types and various brands, there’s a shovel for everyone’s needs.   
The embossment on this shovel helps for a smooth pick up.
Another aspect of all these shovels is that some makers actually make replaceable parts.  I’m sure any Hokkaido native has had the plastic blade of their shovel break or crack on them at least once.  When that happens, it’s great to be able to just buy a new one and keep shoveling!
 And this!  Great for moving large amounts of snow in one dump!
You can easily move a large amount of snow so it’s perfect for a parking lot or sidewalk.  The image of this shovel might make some of our readers nostalgic for their childhood, when some of them are certain to have played and been pulled around on one of these. 
Clearing snow is even a family activity now with some of the shovels that are available for kids!
Mounting snow on rooftops can often lead to small avalanches.  It’s important to clear eaves to keep the areas below safe.  Even for this, there’s shovels and tools. 
For hard snow, you can use a scoop and for ice you can use a kind of pick axe available.  Recently, there’ve been ice pick items on the market that make ice removal easy for even girls lacking in arm strength.
The trouble is that even if you have tools that help make snow removal easier, the actual act of removing snow takes significant effort.  And it seems the amount of snow in Hokkaido every year is only going to keep increasing.  I’m sure some people get a bit bored of waking up early to the snowy scenery, but this is winter in Hokkaido.  Get out and enjoy it; after all, all that snow shoveling is great exercise!
But all this snow sure is a pain!
● Information and photography provided by Homac
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( Hokkaido Likers Writier – Chiba Takako )