Hossawa Falls in western Tokyo became a pillar of ice for the first time in 12 years on Jan. 28.
It was confirmed that the falls were completely frozen over at 8 a.m. after the temperature plummeted to minus 6 degrees with heavy snowfall remaining on the ground, according to the Hinohara Mura Tourism Association.
The falls usually plunge down 60 meters and are on the "Nihon no taki 100-sen" (100 selected Japanese waterfalls) list. It is the only waterfall of the 100 that is located in Tokyo.
"All the local residents are happy to finally witness this long-awaited day. It's impressive," said Kenichi Takagi, 43, who heads the executive committee of a winter festival held at Hossawa Falls.
"(Each year) it has been getting warmer so the falls have not been completely frozen over for so many years."
The popular falls, which Takagi checks every morning, consist of four parts. The lowest section called Ichinotaki had many thick icicles Jan. 28 while the basin and spray were frozen white.
The falls have been completely frozen twice in the past 25 years: on Feb. 5, 1996, and Jan. 8, 2006, according to the area's local tourism association.