Weather agency issues heavy snow alert for Tokyo

The Japan Meteorological Agency put the capital city and three surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba under a heavy snow alert. About 5 centimeters (2 inches) of snow had piled up at around 3 p.m. local time (0600 GMT), while temperatures dropped to minus 0.4 degrees Celsius. More snow is expected to fall until late on Thursday (January 6).

"It doesn't snow around here that often so it's very rare. It's a hassle when transportation gets suspended but it's a nice view when it's just a little snow falling so I like it," said 26-year-old graduate student Toshifumi Kobayashi.

Though the city has not seen major traffic disruptions, the agency warned about icy roads and possible traffic delays and disruptions during evening commuting hours.

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