Snowy disruption in Tokyo

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Monday was a national holiday in Japan, being Seijin no Hi, or Coming-of-Age Day, when those turning 20 this year celebrate their transition to official adulthood. My partner and I spent the three-day weekend on the island of Shikoku, enjoying the beautiful scenery, some exquisite arts and crafts, and some historical sights.

Snow in Japan

We had a flight booked from Matsuyama to Haneda (Tokyo) last night (Monday), only to find when we got to Matsuyama Airport that the flight had been cancelled due to heavy snow at Haneda Airport.

Tokyo had been covered with a 7cm snowfall, severely disrupting systems in the capital. We therefore had to spend another night in Matsuyama's excellent youth hostel, and got a replacement flight to Tokyo this morning.

Tokyo snow

The sight that awaited us of snow-covered Tokyo was remarkable. Roofs throughout Tokyo were gleaming white table tops, and the streets were between ankle- and knee-deep in snow that had been piled up at the sides of the streets and sidewalks.

hatsuyuki or first snow in Tokyo

The roads and pavements are slick with melting snow and ice, making for treacherous walking, and not a few vehicles are sporting tire chains for traction.

According to the news, Narita International Airport was affected by the snowstorm too, with over 3,400 travelers stranded there in the wake of over 70 flight cancellations. About 460 domestic flights connected with Haneda Airport were affected.

These are photos snapped today of streets in Tokyo's Kojimachi district, not far from the office.

Snow in Tokyo 2013

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