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News in Pictures / Frosty Weather Observed Across Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Snow coats the Kirishima mountains in the border area of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures on Jan.25.

Last week, the nation experienced the coldest weather of the season so far, with temperatures dropping below 0 C in 46 prefectures on Wednesday; only Okinawa Prefecture stayed above freezing point.

Snow-blanketed mountains and historic buildings decked in white provided stunning views, but people’s lives were seriously affected.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kinkakuji temple in Kyoto is seen cloaked with snow on Jan.25.

Heavy snow from Jan. 24-25 — primarily in western Japan — stranded 16 passenger trains between stations on the JR Tokaido and Sanyo lines. After some delay, most were able to reach nearby stations and drop off passengers, but passengers on several trains had to disembark and walk to the closest stations. About 1,300 people were unable to get home and had to spend the night in and around JR Yamashina Station in Kyoto.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People who spent the night at JR Yamashina Station in Kyoto are seen in an underground passage on Jan.25.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
A woman crosses a street in Kyoto on Friday morning.

The snow also stranded vehicles on the Shin-Meishin Expressway in Mie and Shiga prefectures from the early hours of Wednesday through Thursday morning. At one point, the line of vehicles was 34 kilometers long, according to Central Nippon Expressway Co.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Trucks brought to a standstill on the Shin-Meishin Expressway are seen in Mie Prefecture on Jan.25.

The low temperatures also caused water pipes to freeze or burst in many areas in the Hokuriku and Kyushu regions, leading to water-supply disruptions.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People clear snow in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, on Jan.25.