Aside from Sapporo beer and tasty crabs, Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido is known for its harsh winters. The frigid weather's saving grace is that it keeps the prodigious snowfall nice and dry, providing some of the best snow in the world for skiing and snowboarding. As it piles up on the slopes in Yamagata, the snow clings to trees to form what the locals call "juhyo" or "ice monsters." The hulking mounds are only found in a handful of places and are usually at their largest in February, and are particularly eery when lit up at night.
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