by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 14, 2013
The winter's first snowfall blanketed the Japanese capital Tokyo and its environs on Monday, paralysing traffic and stranding young people taking part in traditional coming-of-age ceremonies.
Pedestrians tiptoed through the slush in the luxury Ginza shopping district as a storm system covered much of the Japanese archipelago.
Policemen helped drivers shove cars stuck on snow-covered roads while employees cleared the pavement in front of their shops.
Japanese airlines cancelled more than 460 domestic flights, mainly to or from Tokyo's Haneda airport where runways were temporarily closed as workers removed snow, public broadcaster NHK said.
Dozens of train services in the capital were also cancelled. Highways were also closed at many points in Tokyo and surrounding areas as seven centimetres (2.8 inches) of snow fell in the capital, news reports and officials said.
The severe weather disrupted "Coming-of Age Day" ceremonies across the nation on Monday, a national holiday at which 20-year-olds celebrate legally reaching adulthood.
"The snow disappointed me as I was hoping for fine weather," a 20-year-old woman wearing a traditional kimono and sheltering under an umbrella told TV Asahi at a ceremony hall in the city's western district of Oume.
Other young women in colourful kimonos walked gingerly through the snow-covered streets to the ceremonies.
The weather agency warned of further severe winter storms and heavy snow overnight in eastern Japan.
It's A White Out at TerraDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|