After autumn, some Japanese regions turn into a winter wonderland. From the northern Hokkaido to the mountains in Nagano, folks brace themselves for the possibility of heavy snowfalls that attract skiers and snowboarders.
Snowy views of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka show up in manga and anime, but the reality is it rarely snows in Japan’s major cities. In the countryside, they’re used to tightly-packed piles of snow every morning. But mother nature can still be a jerk.
Cold never bothered me anyway
What’s it like to be living in a snowy region? Well, sometimes you’re rewarded with absolutely incredible landscapes.
— TAK (@TAK17246558) January 1, 2021
“Growing up in a snowy country seems hard.
But somehow this looks cute. lol”
— 京柱うさだだぬき (@usalica) January 5, 2021
FamilyMart in heavy snowfall.
Well now you know
But sometimes, snowy weather is just simply a test of willpower to go out at all.
— なるべ (@kininaruberu) January 3, 2021
“Here’s the view of a person missing their bus in a snowy region countryside.”
— うさふー (@Grahoo) January 7, 2021
“Do you know the reason why homes in snowy regions have windbreak rooms attached to their entrance?
Now, you know.”
There’s going to be a delay
“JR’s Tadami line.
The snowplow derailed.”
“The snow level was so high that we considered making a snow sculpture.
I couldn’t stop laughing because of how amazing (this looks).”
Japanese vocabulary to talk about snow
Let’s gently start 2021 and skip the grammar lesson for a keyword list to talk about snow in Japanese. The Japanese language has an extensive vocabulary when it comes to the weather, and there are dozens of words just to talk about snow, how it falls, how it looks, etc. For example:
- 綿雪 or “cotton snow” and refers to how snowflakes (雪片) looks like a ball of cotton.
- 灰雪 or “ash snow” like when the snow seems to dance in the air like fire ashes.
You might also be curious to learn more about the 雪女 (deceptive snow beauty) in this spooky article about Japan’s scariest ghosts and ghouls.
Luckily for you, we focused on the essential words you need to know at first.
|雪が降る||yuki ga furu||snow|
|雪が積もる||yuki ga tsumoru||pile up (snow)|
|粉雪||kona yuki||powdered snow|
|豪雪地帯||gousetsuchitai||area with heavy snowfall|
|暴風雪||boufuusetsu||Blizzard/ snow storm|
|初雪||hatsuyuki||first snow of the winter|
|忘れ雪||wasureyuki||last snow of the winter|