Further north, in Aomori prefecture, the winter conditions become more extreme. But this winter has seen snowfall way beyond the usual couple of metres, reaching a record-breaking 5.5 metres deep in some places south of Aomori city. In the video below, a BBC correspondent encounters a 77 year old resident shovelling snow from the roof of his house. Although he has lived all his life in Aomori, he has never seen this volume of snow before, saying it is at least twice as much as usual. Of course, unlike here in Britain, where an inch of snow brings everything to a halt, everyone seems to cope.
UPDATE: The video has been deleted from YouTube for copyright reasons. You can still see it on the BBC News Asia site here.