Do you know
what a snow monster is?
When you hear “snow monster,” what comes to your mind? An abominable snowman in the Himalayas? Or maybe a movie title? Actually, a snow monster refers to a juhyo ice-covered tree, a fantastic creature of nature. However these uniquely-shaped gigantic snow monsters are more than just ice-covered trees.
Juhyo are formed when water droplets in the air are blown by strong winds and freeze to the leaves and branches of evergreen pine trees, slowly morphing them into huge towering shapes. The formation of juhyo requires special weather conditions that are common in Japan, especially in the Tohoku region, but are not found in most snowy areas in other parts of the world.
Snow monsters are seen in high-altitude areas where popular ski resorts are located. It feels surreal to ski and snowboard in powder snow through looming snow monsters! Even if you are not keen on skiing or snowboarding, don’t worry. Just ride on a ropeway or snow car, and you will surely be overwhelmed by the stunning view of snow monsters unfolding before your eyes. The ropeway or snow car also ensures an easy return trip.