posted on January 25, 2016
The bitterly cold weather hit the country and caused a lot of snow to fall from north to south in Japan last weekend, but in the mountains of Nagatoro, a popular destination for day trippers located in Saitama prefecture, people were coming out in large numbers to be delighted by the warm touch of small yellow flowers contrasting finely with the blue sky and the white snow. These trees are called “Robai” in Japanese, and “Wintersweet” in English. “Ro” is wax as in “rosoku”, the Japanese word for a candle. People say that is because the petals glisten as if they were made from wax. The good time to view 3,000 Robai trees blooming in Nagatoro is until the beginning of March. This place is also very famous for its finest natural ice made from the mountain spring water and frozen by the natural cold. This ice is used to make giant shaved ice which rises to a height of 10 inches. Shaved ice has a feel of a summer dessert but it’s a great pleasure to enjoy white, light and fluffy ice like powder snow now in winter. Please appreciate first the sweet flavor of the natural ice without any syrup.