Heavy Snow Takes The Life Of 5 Individuals Within A Week In Japan Including A Professional U.S. Skier

Tourists enjoyed winter scenes all over Japan this week when a large portion of Japan was covered by snow during a frigid storm responsible for five individuals’ deaths and caused travel disruptions.

Record lows were recorded at many locations, including one region in southern Kumamoto where the mercury sank to -9° Celsius, the coldest recorded area since 1977 when that observation station began tracking.

A government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno confirmed that one person died during the cold snap. Meteorologists predicted blizzards, large waves, and traffic jams due to the icy roads. Authorities are also investigating whether the deaths of two others were due to the cold weather that swept across the archipelago.

Many flights were cancelled due to the winter storm as cancellations and delays disrupted local trains and longer-distance Shinkansen services. Cars travelling that were on major roads in a variety of areas were stuck by local media.

Zenkoji Temple in Nagano had calm and chilly weather with an aesthetic background, but all were covered with layers of snow. The visitors included those who came for skiing but were ejected from the slopes due to the blizzard conditions.

“I came to ski, but the snow was hefty, so I cut my plan short and instead decided to do a bit of sightseeing,” 30-year-old Akiko Sotobori, 30, told AFP. “The blizzard (at the ski resort) was such that I couldn’t see anything three meters ahead.”

A couple of days later, another two skiers were found missing during an avalanche and later, when police found them, they showed no vital signs. A total of 5 were caught in the avalanche, but fortunately, three escaped. One of the two who died during this avalanche is confirmed to be a professional U.S. skier Kyle Smaine of age 31. They were skiing outside the danger-patrolled area; still, an avalanche hit them. The whole Nagano region has been issued an avalanche advisory.

There were beautiful scenes in Kyoto’s former capital city of Japan, a tourist destination Kyoto in which the glistening walls of the famed Golden Pavilion stood out against the brief, bright white luminescence of its roofs with tiered roofs.

The nation’s Sea of Japan coast was most severely affected by the overnight snowstorm, leaving Tokyo and the surrounding regions spared but seeing shallow temperatures.


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