Snow Hits Tokyo; Yurikamome Transit Line Stranded Monday Night, Forcing 550 Passengers to Walk Along Tracks

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Snow-covered Inokashira Park in Tokyo on Monday evening

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—A low-pressure system traveled east along the southern coast of Japan’s Honshu main island Monday, causing snow in many areas including Tokyo’s densely-populated 23 special wards.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a heavy snow warning for the 23 wards and most of the Kanto-Koshin region including the Japanese capital, calling for caution over transportation disruptions, frozen roads and avalanches until Tuesday morning.

Heavy snow fell in and near the mountainous areas in the Kanto-Koshin eastern to central Japan region, Gifu and Shizuoka prefectures in central Japan and Fukushima Prefecture in the country’s northeast.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways canceled 67 flights and 37 flights, respectively, mainly at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, suspended some express trains on the Chuo Line, while Shinkansen bullet trains were delayed on the Tokaido Shinkansen line of Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai.

Many sections of the Metropolitan Expressway, Tomei Expressway, Shin-Tomei Expressway, Chuo Expressway, Kan-Etsu Expressway and Tohoku Expressway were closed to traffic.

On Tokyo’s Yurikamome automated guideway transit line, two trains were stranded between Shinbashi and Takeshiba stations around 9 p.m., forcing about 550 passengers to walk along the tracks to Shiodome Station between the two stations.

There were some blackouts in the service area of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. Shortly past midnight, about 13,000 households in Tokyo and five nearby prefectures were being affected by electricity outages, according to TEPCO Power Grid Inc.

Automakers suspended operations of some plants fully or partially. Among them were Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co.

In eastern Japan, snowfall of 10 centimeters was recorded in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, as of 11 p.m. Monday, 8 centimeters in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward and Saitama, the capital of the namesake prefecture, 4 centimeters in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, and 3 centimeters in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba, the capital of the namesake prefecture.

Over the 24 hours to 6 p.m. Tuesday, snowfall was forecast to reach 40 centimeters in mountainous areas in northern Kanto, 30 centimeters in Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture, Tama in Tokyo, Hakone in Kanagawa, the Koshin central region, Fukushima and Gifu.

Snowfall of 15 centimeters was forecast in flat areas in Kanto and 8 centimeters in Tokyo’s 23 wards.