Japan’s most beautiful mountain puts on its “snow makeup.”

In much of Japan, the summer heat usually lingers until late September, but a cold snap over the weekend brought the lowest temperatures since last spring. The daytime high dipped below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of Tokyo, but things were even chillier in some high-altitude sections of Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures, where it was below freezing on Sunday.

And as it just so happens, Yamanashi and Shizuoka are the prefectures that Mt. Fuji straddles. With weather in the area not just cold but cloudy too, meteorologist said there was a chance of snow on Japan’s highest mountain, and sure enough, the first frost of the season has settled on Fuji’s summit.

On Monday morning, the city of Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, which sits in the foothills of Mt. Fuji’s northern side, announced the first accumulated snowfall for the mountain, or the first yukigesho (“snow makeup”) to use the fashionable-sounding Japanese term for when snow blankets part of the slope. As one of the closest towns to Mt. Fuji, Fujiyoshida has a better view of the mountain’s conditions than the Kofu Meteorological Observatory in the prefecture’s capital, and the town independently announces the first Mt. Fuji snow every year.

This year’s September 21 announcement comes 32 days sooner than 2019’s, though local social media users observed snow near Mt. Fuji’s peak on September 20.

However, this frosty crown might not be a full-fledged part of Fuji’s winter regalia. As mentioned above, last weekend was unusually cold, and if temperatures rise back up to their regular late-September levels, what’s on Fuji right now might melt before it’s replaced by fresh-fallen later in autumn. If nothing else, though, it’s at least a preview of the beauty to come, and a fresh look for us to gaze at as we follow Shizuoka’s governor’s suggestion to compose haiku about Japan’s most revered mountain.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News/Kyodo, Weather News
Top image: Pakutaso
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