The Great Buddha statue is covered with snow at Kotoku-in temple in Kamakura, near Tokyo today (pictured, left) after residents (right) woke up to the first November snowfall in 54 years
Tokyo woke up today to its first November snowfall in more than half a century, leaving commuters to grapple with train disruptions – a rarity in Japan – and icy streets.
Snow began falling before dawn with the mercury approaching zero as a cold weather system moved south from Siberia.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said it was the first time snow had fallen in November in central Tokyo since 1962.
Suburban areas at the foot of Mount Takao saw more snow but even central Tokyo saw flurries which resulted in a covering of around an inch (2cm).
That was the first time snow had actually laid on the ground since records began in 1875, the agency said.
Greater Tokyo, which spreads over a wide area and includes many suburbs, enjoys relatively mild winters compared to some other parts of the country, like the northern island of Hokkaido, where snowfall is more frequent.
Today’s snow (pictured) was all the more remarkable because it can only days after temperatures in the city reached 20C (68F)
A mother walks to school with her son today as snow falls in November for the first time since 1962, when John F Kennedy was the US president
Snow falls over a railway in Tokyo today. The weather affected Japan Railways’ usually impeccable record for punctuality
Television footage showed a resident in the western suburb of Hachioji shovelling snow as the pavement, trees and park benches were covered in white powder.
Train and subway services were temporarily suspended or delayed especially in western Tokyo, affecting thousands of commuters during the morning rush hour.
Japanese train services run on a regimented and highly punctual basis and commuters were baffled when their regular services were delayed.
Average temperatures at this time of year are around 14 C (57 F) and on Sunday were as high as 20 C (68 F).
This couple’s wedding, in a traditional Shinto ceremony at the Meiji shrine in Tokyo, was conducted against the backdrop of snow
The snowfall came as a major shock to people in Tokyo as only yesterday (pictured) they were strolling through parks enjoying the autumnal scene in mild weather
Snow falls across the rooftops of residential buildings during the early morning today
Tokyo sometimes gets snow in January or February but it is extremely rare in December and is almost unprecedented in November
People made their way to work as best they could but some people were delayed as Japan’s famously punctual train network was disrupted by the weather