This is Japan

Winter : Gleaming White and Emerald Glow

Because the islands of Japan stretch far from north to south, the average temperature in February differs by as much as 26°C (46.8°F) between Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido and Ishigaki Island in Okinawa. While snow may be falling on a freezing day on Shiretoko Peninsula, Ishigaki Island in the south is warm enough for flowers to bloom.

Photographed in February

The grand panorama of Shiretoko Mountain Range

In the coldest depths of winter, the mountain peaks running through the center of Shiretoko Peninsula become covered with snow, and drift ice floating in from the Sea of Okhotsk arrives in the surrounding waters. With its dramatic range of changing expressions, Shiretoko became registered as a World Natural Heritage site in 2005.

Photographed in February

Crystal-clear water of Ishigaki Island’s Kabira Bay

Kabira Bay’s climate remains temperate throughout the year, and its water is some of the clearest in the world, out of which rise a number of verdant isles to form truly picturesque views. Iridescent tropical fish and colorful coral reefs can be observed from glass-bottom boats cruising the bay.

Shiretoko Peninsula:
approximately 1,007 km (625 mi) north of Tokyo
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Ishigaki Island:
approximately 1,952 km (1,213 mi) south of Tokyo
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