Winter comes early to Hokkaido and turns one of Japan’s most respected schools into an otherworldly wonderland.

It looks like this weekend is going to be the ideal time to see the autumn leaves in the Tokyo area, as the reds and yellows of the fall foliage are set to be at their most intense hues. However, up on the northern island of Hokkaido, the outdoor color palette is something else entirely.

Japanese Twitter user @wataryo1108 is a student at Hokkaido University. While the school’s Sapporo campus isn’t far from the city center of the prefectural capital, it’s also spacious and covered in greenery, in stark contrast to the concrete confines of many Japanese colleges. But because winter comes to Hokkaido before anywhere else in Japan, all that greenery was covered in white and silver snow on November 23, when @wataryo1108 took these photos while walking across the campus (hopefully while wearing a very, very warm coat).

▼ Twitter commenters have compared the scenery to something out of a fantasy anime and also the Harry Potter films.

But while the blankets of snow and lack of any passersby in the photos lend a touch of loneliness to their achingly beautiful atmosphere, a glance at the sky in some of the shots shows the lights of the city reflected in the misty skies.

And if you’re wondering if the campus is as breathtaking when it’s not getting an assist from its natural winter decorations, rest assured that it is. If you take a look at the bottom right photo in the above tweet, you’ll see a single yellow leaf, because the path is lined with gingko trees, and in October they looked like this.

So if you’re one of the many people being drawn to Hokkaido by the snow this winter, either as part of a ski trip or to attend the Sapporo Snow Festival, don’t forget to open up some time in your itinerary to visit Hokkaido University’s campus too.

Source: Twitter/@wataryo1108 via IT Media
Top image: Twitter/@wataryo1108
Insert images: Twitter/@wataryo1108 (1, 2)