Winter Ice Floes Reach Hokkaido

Winter ice floes reach Hokkaido

The winter's first ice floes have reached the coast of Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido.

Officials at the observatory in Abashiri City say they spotted the floating ice on the seashore on Tuesday.

An NHK camera also captured white drift ice covering the waterfront.

The arrival was four days earlier than average and also than last year. The recent northerly winds have brought ice down from the Sea of Okhotsk to the coast.

Tourists viewed the spectacle from a sightseeing boat, taking photos and watching eagles resting on the ice.

The officials say more ice floes are expected to reach the shore in the coming week, with continued northerly winds forecast.