Lumpy mounds of snow, taller than the mesmerized people who gaze at them, cover long-hidden fir trees. Like fluffy clouds or plumes of smoke frozen in time, the incredible shapes formed from crystallized ice and snow rise like snow monsters out of the ground. But while this winter wonderland is a curious attraction for some, for thousands of people it’s their daily reality.
When you try to think of the snowiest place on Earth, many locations might come to mind. Somewhere inside the Arctic Circle in Alaska, Canada or Siberia, perhaps? But the place that actually lays claim to this chilly title is in fact Aomori City in Japan.
Nestled by Aomori Bay, in the far north of Japan’s main island of Honshu, Aomori City lies on approximately the same line of latitude as the likes of Rome and Beijing. With that in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking the city might be a temperate location for much of the year. Indeed, you might even hope for some winter sun.