Public broadcaster NHK chose a strange way to show the “waist-deep snow” of this hot spring town in northern Japan.

With December here, the weather is getting chilly in the Tokyo area, with overnight lows this week just slightly above freezing temperature. Still, the weather near Japan’s capital is comparatively balmy when measured against the country’s northern prefectures, which are already seeing regular snowfall.

Take, for instance, Aomori, located at the northern tip of Japan’s main island of Honshu. On December 9, the hot spring community of Sukayu (part of Aomori City) was blanketed in snow. But the freshly fallen powder wasn’t the only eye-catching part of the winter landscape, though, as local resident and Japanese Twitter user @koichinamini peeked outside and saw a news crew dispatched by public broadcaster NHK doing something very strange.

As shown in the top left photo of her tweet, the NHK crew’s cameraman and support staff were standing on the snow-covered, but easily navigable, street. However, the in-front-of-the-camera reporter had purposely hopped right into a snowbank on the side of the road.

“’What the heck are they doing?’, I wondered,” tweeted @koichinamini. She got her answer later that day when she was watching the nightly news on TV and saw the scene from the camera’s perspective (shown in the bottom two photos), which makes it look like the entire town is covered in snow as deep as the exact spot where the reporter is standing. “As you can see,” the reporter told his television audience, “so much snow has piled up that it’s as high as my waist.”

Granted, it’s not an exaggeration to say that there was a lot of snow in Sukayu. Still, the way the NHK crew chose to present the situation had more than a few people online laughing at the TV trickery.

“That looks like fun,”
“My trust in TV news has dropped to sub-zero.”
“That first photo is just surreal.”
“If they’re going to do that, the reporter might as well kneel down to make the snow look higher.”
“I get that they’re trying to make it easy for people to understand, visually, how much snow there is, but this is kind of misleading.”

A number of more lenient commenters were willing to cut the reporter some slack, since, at least in the spot he choose to stand, the snow really was that deep. It’s also true that the spot in which the cameraman is standing has had its snow cleared away so that people and cars can get through, meaning the rest of the crew is positioned in a spot with less snow than the town actually received.

Then again, some of the snow that was cleared off the road most likely got pushed into the very snowbank the reporter is standing in, meaning the snow there is higher than in places where it piled up naturally, which would mean it’s still an exaggeration, to an extent.

However, it perhaps becomes a little easier to forgive the NHK crew when you see that a local Aomori news crew sent their own reporter to Sukayu as well. Rather than filming in the center of town, the local team went out into the fields, and obtained more legitimate images of waist-deep snow.

That looks like a long walk back to the warmth of the news van, so you can sort of see why the NHK crew was tempted to fudge the visuals to deliver the message “It’s really cold in Aomori.”

Source: Twitter/@koichinamini via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@koichinamini