Passers-by and tourists in Japan were delighted to be able to snap pictures of shrines and temples under snow on Wednesday, as heavy falls caused major traffic disruptions across the country. A cargo ship also sank due to the wind.
“These temperatures are among the coldest seen in a decade,” Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) official Takafumi Umeda told AFP. The agency warned of the risk of blizzards, high tides along coastlines and icy roads.
One or more deaths
According to government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno, one person died in the country due to the extreme cold, and authorities are investigating two other weather-related deaths.
Hundreds of flights have been canceled due to the blizzard, and trains, including high-speed lines, have been delayed or canceled. There was also a lot of traffic on the roads.
The Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship Jindian sank overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday due to strong winds off Japan’s southwest coast. Thirteen crew members were rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard, and a search is underway for nine others who are still missing.
Temples are covered in white
However, at Jenkoji Temple in the city of Nagano, in the heart of the Japanese Alps in the heart of the country, visitors enjoyed a mesmerizing view of white-shrouded spaces. Similar scenes played out in the west of the country, such as Kyoto, the former imperial capital.
“I had come to ski, but the snow was too thick, so I decided to change my schedule and do some sightseeing instead,” tourist Akiko Sotopori told AFP in Nagano. At the ski resort, “the blizzard was such that you couldn’t see anything three meters away,” he said.
However, the capital Tokyo and its large suburbs were spared snow, while suffering from a colder than usual.
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