All About Japan

6 Cool Japanese Words for Snow

| Snow , Learning Japanese
6 Cool Japanese Words for Snow

January is winter for most of the northern hemisphere, and of course it snows in Japan, too. Hokkaido, Tohoku and Hokuriku are regions with quite a lot of snow. While there are a few ways to describe snow in English, did you know there are more than 100 ways to describe it in Japanese? Let’s take a look at just six interesting examples.

6. Aka-yuki (赤雪)

Sometimes also read seki-setsu, this literally means red snow. The surface appears red because of red seaweed growing within the snow. We can usually find this in high mountains or places that have snow all year round.

5. Zarame-yuki (粗目雪)

Zarame means coarse mesh, and this is a kind of snow you'll often find in the spring when the snow partially melts, then freezes again at night. After going back and forth a few times, it becomes a lovely crystal ball that looks like sugarcane. Just don't put it in your tea!

4. Yuki-boshi (雪帽子)

4. Yuki-boshi (雪帽子)

The snowfall naturally forms a shape that looks like a cute little hat, or boshi. It looks so soft and white! Don't you want to try it on?

3. Botan-yuki (牡丹雪)

This describes snowflakes that are as big and beautiful as a peony, or botan. It's so big you can clearly see the pattern of the snowflake. You'll want to hold this wonderful gift from nature in your hands forever!

2. Kata-yuki (堅雪)

2. Kata-yuki (堅雪)

In spring, snow that's not completely melted turns to ice overnight, giving it a hard (katai) layer on top. Just be careful how much weight you put on it!

1. Mochiyuki (餅雪 )

This describes the snow that looks like soft and delicious mochi, a kind of pounded rice cake that's also used in certain kinds of sweets. But you'll only have the cold months to appreciate this feast for the eyes!

These are just a few of the ways to describe snow in Japanese! Of course, snow also always reminds us of the classic J-pop track "Yuki-no-Hana," too. Perhaps you've heard it?