Tokyo sees heavy snowfall and coldest weather of the season

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People walk carefully on the frozen road in front of JR Meguro Station in Tokyo on Friday morning.

The greater Tokyo area experienced the coldest weather of the season Friday morning, a day after a heavy snowfall that prompted the Japan Meteorological Agency to issue its first heavy snow warning for central Tokyo in four years.

Frozen road surfaces and other snowfall-related factors caused traffic closures and railroad delays. It was reported that a number of people were injured in accidents and falls caused by the snow. The cold weather is expected to continue on Saturday.

According to the agency, it stopped snowing in the southern part of the Kanto region late Thursday.

Due to the winter pressure pattern on Friday morning, the lowest temperatures were minus 3.5 C in central Tokyo, minus 8.3 C in Saitama, and minus 1.5 C in Yokohama.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A pileup is seen in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, at 8 a.m. on Friday.

Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, registered the lowest temperature ever recorded at minus 5.4 C.

As of 10:30 a.m. on Friday, 14 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway’s 26 routes, including the Central Circular Route (Chuo Kanjosen) and the Bayshore Route (Wangansen), were either fully or partially closed.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People shovel snow from an icy sidewalk in Chuo Ward, Chiba, on Friday.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, about 100 cars were stranded at the Tokyo Gate Bridge in Koto Ward, Tokyo.

As for the railroads, some JR conventional trains were canceled or delayed due to frozen overhead wires and other problems.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People walk carefully in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, where snow from the previous day had frozen the sidewalks by Friday morning.

At Haneda Airport, nine flights were canceled as a result of the previous day’s flight cancellations.

A total of 215 people in Tokyo were injured from falls and taken to the hospital as of 9 a.m. Friday, according to the Tokyo Fire Department.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A view of snow-covered Tokyo on Friday morning, with Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in the foreground and Shinjuku’s high-rise buildings seen beyond to the left.

About 80 people were injured in Saitama Prefecture and 117 in Chiba Prefecture as of Friday morning. In Kanagawa Prefecture, 22 people sustained minor injuries in skidding and other car accidents as of 6 a.m. Friday.

In Ibaraki Prefecture, 29 injury accidents have been reported as of 8:30 a.m. Friday, with 33 people sustaining minor injuries.