The World’s Snowiest Place Is Starting to Melt
The mountains of northwestern Japan have long received up to 125 feet of snow a year—but that's starting to change, prompting locals to ask how long it will last.
Takakura, JapanIn the kitchen of a traditional wooden Japanese farmhouse, Nils Inugai Hinrichs is drinking a cup of coffee next to a window that is almost completely buried in snow. There are about seven feet on the ground, and a fresh 10 to twelve inches have just fallen.
“You came on the right day,” says Hinrichs, who lives here with his wife Adele. “We have new snow, but it was just a light storm.”
A one-foot snowfall is a common occurrence here in Takakura, a tiny mountain village located about 150 miles northwest of Tokyo. The village is a thirty minute drive from Tokamachi, population 54,000, which according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is the snowiest small city in Japan. On average,