I just came back from a short trip to the north of the main island of Japan. Though Japan looks dwarfed by the continent when you look at the map, there are more than 700 kilometers to the northern tip of the island. Fortunately, the Tohoku shinkansen (the bullet train which runs from Tokyo to Aomori City) is reliable and covers the more than 700 kilometers in less than 4 hours.
I took pictures and have to resize them in order to be able to use them here, but before I do this, I will show you one of the Christmas soaps I cut the other day.
Though for the first 12 hours after I took the soap out of the mold there was no soda ash, it formed on the second day. Yet, it formed only on the leaves and (lucky me!) made the look as if they are covered in frost. Quite an unexpected but still pleasing-to-the-eye effect.
I wish you a warm and sunny day.