Last night, I came to a hot spring area further to the south.  The place I stayed was, as I have written earlier, a small B&B with private hot spring.  The owner, a couple in their 60s, welcomed me at the station, prepared my dinner, then kept company with me while I eat.
After dinner, I went out for a walk.  It was a quiet, cold night, with fat moon in the sky.  The sky was bright, and I could not see any star.  I walked out of the property, to the main road outside, and just stood there for 10 minutes, felt so happy.
No sound, absolutely nothing, except for the hot spring water running somewhere.  No, except for the strange noise that sounds suspiciously similar to a pack of wolves… I wanted to walk further, but I could not move.  Who would come looking for me, if one of them attack and kill me?
Next morning, I found out that it was the swans.

 When I came down for breakfast in the morning, a squirrel was eating a walnut on a branch besides the porch.  This kind is indigenous to this area, the kind that does not hibernate in winter.
The squirrel first check each one of the walnuts on the porch, do the second round, before picking one up back to the branch.  So cute.

 Outside, besides the road, baby Christmas trees were bearing weights of the snow.

 There was not a single person around.  Cars pass by every 5 to 10 minutes, drivers looking back at me as though they saw some crazy person.  I had to go down to the lake to see swans.

 Snow was on my hat, on my eyelashes, on the lake, everywhere.  I encounter a group of Chinese tourists when I got there. 

 Except for their coat, and beaks of swans, lichen on a tree trunk was the only color you see.

 Finally, I left the hotel and went back to a station to catch a noon train to the next stop, Mashu Lake area.  Still snowing.

More, tomorrow.