The Snow Monsters of Japan

Beware of the scary snow monsters of Japan!  These monstrosities will dwarf you and make you shake in your boots!  No, I’m not talking about creatures like the Yeti or the Abominable Snowman, but rather giant snow structures that occur in the Yamagata Prefecture of Japan.

Every year, the monsoon cycle sends high winds and moisture up the sides of Mount Zao, where it turns to snow and collects on the trees.  These conifer trees, with their tightly packed needles collect the snow crystals quickly, allowing the snow to build up easily during the storms.  The snow can build up to as much as 5 inches in a day as the wind whips past the branches.

The end results are tall snow structures that resemble monsters rather than trees.  And with the temperature remaining around 10 degrees below Fahrenheit, the “snow monsters” known as Juhyo will last for months and continue to grow and change shape.  The images below highlight the awe-inspiring shape and scale of the Juhyo, while giving you an understanding as to why they are called “snow monsters.”


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