Wednesday, January 26

Unusual snowfall in Tokyo, domestic flights canceled

A pedestrian in the snow in Tokyo, January 6, 2022 Behrouz MEHRI

The streets and shrines of Tokyo were blanketed in snow on Thursday, an extremely rare event in recent years that has resulted in the cancellation of more than 100 domestic flights.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned that up to 10 centimeters of snow could fall over a 12-hour period, when it issued its first alert since 2018 announcing heavy snowfall for the Tokyo area.

An official at Haneda Airport, one of the two airports in the Japanese capital, told AFP that 118 domestic flights – 66 departing and 53 arriving – had been canceled, without being able to specify how many passengers had been affected in total.

No international flights have yet been canceled, another official said.

Some commuter trains in Tokyo have also been delayed, the JR East railway company said on its website.

In the business and luxury shopping district of Ginza, most passers-by hardly lingered outside, protecting themselves with their umbrellas and especially being careful not to slip.

But some took the time to appreciate this unusual scene, such as Shigeko Nagahama, 73, passed by an AFP journalist as she took photos of the facade of the Kabukiza theater, the center of traditional Japanese kabuki theater with the roofs. snow-capped curves.

“It’s a beautiful sight. The snow gives a picturesque side, I think” she commented.

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