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Winter in Higashi-Hiroshima
(Jan. 2003)

Hiroshima University, where I am working, is in Saijo district, Higashi-Hiroshima City, Hiroshima. I often receive mails saying that Hiroshima must be warm, mainly from my friends in Eastern Japan. However, it is much colder in Higashi-Hiroshima than in ordinary Middle-Western Japan. I introduce it on this page with photos that my wife took on Jan. 30, 2003.

It started snowing in the evening on Jan. 29, and the temperature continued falling down from the morning on Jan. 29, and it reached -11.8 degree centigrade at 1 o'clock on Jan. 30. The lowest temperature on the same day in Hiroshima city was -3.9. It shows that the climate is completely different.

Such low temperature occurs almost only once a year, and the central city is covered with snow only several times a year in Higashi Hiroshima. However, it is usual that the daily lowest temperature becomes lower than -5 degree, and in January 2004, the number of the days where the lowest temperature was higher than zero was only one, and there was a day where the daily highest temperature was lower than zero.

The reasons of such climate are that the altitude of the city is about 250 meters above sea level and that the city is in a basin and the way to Setonaikai sea is block by mountains. The difference of tempratures between summer and winter and between day and night is also large, and the difference of the lowest and the highest temperatures sometimes exceeds 20 degrees. However, this climate is suitable to sake brewing, and Saijo is well known as one of the centers of sake brewing industries.

* Click a photo to enlarge.

tree01 Road and car park in Hiroshima University. Winter tires are necessary because car roads are sometimes covered with snow. Since the expressway to Hiroshima city is passing through higher region, Winter tires are sometimes required on the expressway even if the central Higashi-Hiroshima is not covered with snow.
tree02 A shrubbery in the university was beautifully covered with snow.
tree03 The car park of the condominium where I lived. The water supplying system beside the car park was broken by the low temperature, and the water supply could not be used all the day. Because condominiums in this region are adapted to the coldness in winter, it was confortable in winter, but it was quite hot inside in summer although it became cool outside at night.
tree03 There was no snow in Kure city, which is along the coast of Setonaikai sea south of Higashi-Hiroshima, on the same day.


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