Snowzilla Hits Tokyo – A Firsthand Account

A storm moving up Japan’s eastern coastline has triggered a rare, heavy snowfall over the weekend for areas that typically don’t see much snow.

Credit: AJ Kelman via Flickr

Credit: AJ Kelman via Flickr

Tokyo received about 4 inches (10cm) of snow. The Japanese Meteorological Agency stated that this is the heaviest snowfall originating from one storm in decades.

Credit: jetalone via Flickr

Credit: jetalone via Flickr

WeatherBug’s Vice President of Support, Bill Laffey, happened to be traveling to Tokyo (since we do operate the world’s largest network) when this snowstorm struck. He comments that he had finally “found a place that is worse than the DC area when it comes to dealing with snow.

Credit: torisan3500 via Flickr

Credit: torisan3500 via Flickr

Here is a timeline of his experience with Snowzilla:

  1. His plane was forced to circle the airport for about 30 minutes due to  air traffic delays.
  2. When he landed, his plane sat on the tarmac for an hour.
  3. For anyone that has been to Tokyo and taken the Airport Limousine Service, you know how convenient it is.  Not so yesterday because it was closed. There were no buses servicing customers out of Narita Airport. The taxi line was easily 200 yards long but there were no taxis!
  4. It took about an hour and a half to get on a train that was marked as express.
  5. His train continually had to wait in each station for the trains ahead to move along the route to Tokyo Station. Some stops, in fact, required a 30 minute wait!
  6.  The conductor finally announced that they were abandoning their attempts to make it to Tokyo Station and that he would have to switch trains. Imagine people packed into a train so much that you could barely move. Everyone had bags and luggage, and most had had very long flights and were tired and irritable. But they all moved on to the next train.
  7. 4 hours later, he finally made it to his hotel. The side streets and sidewalks were ice rinks. He heard a lot of stories about people falling down. It was pretty amazing.
Credit: ayustety via Flickr

Credit: ayustety via Flickr

Sounds like a travel nightmare! WeatherBug is glad that Bill – and hopefully other folks in Japan –  made it to his destination in one piece!


Stay Safe! Know Before™.

The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team



This entry was posted in International, Snow.
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