in pictures | Unusual snowfall in Tokyo

Snow covered the streets and shrines of Tokyo on Thursday, an extremely rare event in recent years that has led to the cancellation of more than 100 domestic flights.

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

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

Another official said that no international flights had been canceled so far.

Railway company JR East announced on its website that some passenger trains in Tokyo were also delayed.

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

But some have taken the time to appreciate this unusual spectacle, like Shigeko Nagahama, 73, who passed an AFP journalist taking pictures of the facade of Kabukiza Theatre, the center of traditional Japanese rooftop kabuki theater. Snow covered curves.

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

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