Snow falls in Hokkaido before Tokyo even needs to get out its fall fashions.

The Tokyo area experienced a heat wave over the last two weeks, but with temperatures coming down as we progress deeper into the latter half of September, it’s out time for even the most die-hard sun worshipers to accept that autumn is here. Up in Hokkaido, though, part of the prefecture looks like it’s skipped fall entirely and jumped straight to winter.

The video above begins with footage shot at 8:30 a.m. Thursday on Mt. Asahidake in Daisetsuzan National Park, located high in the mountains of central Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture. While the colder seasons routinely set in earlier in Hokkaido than the rest of Japan, the travelers interviewed, who had come from Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan’s eastern Kanto region, weren’t expecting the weather to be this chilly so early in the season.

Elsewhere in Daisetsuzan (which literally means “Big Snowy Mountains”), Rinyu Kanko, the company that operates the Daisetsuzan Sounkyo Kurodake Ropeway that connects Mt. Kurodake with the nearby hot spring town of Sounkyo Onsen, also reported snowfall beginning at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday night, and shared this photo through its official Twitter account (@rinyu_kurodake).

Nighttime temperatures dropped to zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) at elevations of around 1,500 meters (4,291 feet) and were considerably colder at 1,900 meters, where the Kurodake Ishimuro mountain hut, seen in left picture below, stands. Temperatures remained below freezing as of 6 o’clock Thursday morning, when five centimeters (two inches) of snow had piled up on the ground.

The snowfall is the first reported in Japan this year, and comes more than a month later than the first snows were observed on Mt. Kurodake last year. However, 2018’s first snowfall was unusually early, according to weather organization, which says that this year’s timing is in keeping with historical trends.

It’ll still be some time before the entire park turns into a white-blanketed wonderland, as the above photos, also shot on Mt. Kurodake recently, show. But as you can also see, the fall colors are already setting in, and it won’t be long until weather the rest of the country would classify as “winter” comes to Hokkaido’s highlands.

Sources: via Otakomu, Biglobe News/, Twitter/@rinyu_kurodake
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where as a southern California native anything that requires him to wear a jacket qualifies as “uncomfortably cold” in his book.