Snow in Tokyo

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It snowed in Tokyo on Monday night. I happened to look outside at about 11pm, and witnessed a full-on snowstorm: masses of huge snowflakes whirling through the air coating the railing, the plants - everything, and even flying in through the open door.

Tuesday morning, the whole of Tokyo was frosted under a layer of about 3cm of glistening, crunching snow. The trains were late, pedestrians lost their footing, and shopkeepers were bent over shovels scraping snow off the sidewalk in front of their store, as were the kids from the nearest junior high school off the promenade alongside the Sumida River where they go for their morning group jog.

Most snow in Japan's main island of Honshu falls on the Japan Sea side, where the winds that make it over the mountains have usually left most of their moisture. However, very occasionally, maybe once or twice ever winter, they are still laden with sufficient water to deposit a coat of snow on the Pacific side.

A snowfall is rare enough phenomenon with Tokyo weather to send a bit of a thrill through the city, but bothersome enough to make Tokyoites glad that it's not regular.


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