Frost flowers blooming across the lake surface — an unforgettable winter scene湖面に咲く冬の絶景、フロストフラワー
Have you ever heard of frost flowers? These miraculous flowers only bloom on the very coldest morning. In deep winter at Lake Akan, this phenomenon can only be observed when specific conditions are met. Those lucky enough to see the frost flowers will have a remarkable story to share.
At least three conditions required for frost flowers to bloom
As the name suggests, the phenomenon of frost flowers occurs when water vapor crystallizes upon the frozen lake surface, as if a field of flowers has come into bloom. It is also known as "winter flowers". For these miraculous flowers to bloom, at least the following three conditions must be met.
1. Snow must not be accumulated on the frozen lake surface
2. Temperatures must be intensely cold, below -15 °C
3. Winds must be still or very minimal
When the three variables of snow, temperature, and wind align, and the whims of weather and nature cooperate, there is a chance of observing frost flowers. While it is difficult to predict, Lake Akan offers better chances to encounter this miraculous moment.
Fleeting and beautiful, the art of nature
Frost flowers are formed when feather-like ice crystals fold over layer upon layer, like the petals of a rose. Depending on the conditions of formation, sometimes there is only a single layer, which is known as "frost wings". More delicate than the finest glass, each is a work of immaculate beauty... truly as if nature is creating art. However, these flowers are so fragile that a single breath will melt them in the blink of an eye. This fragility is why you never see frost flowers on a windy day. The rare chance to partake in this ephemeral beauty is a miracle in itself.
Advice for visitors who are determined to see frost flowers
A field of frost flowers bloom like delicate glasswork across the blue lake surface. This interweaving contrast of blue and white is a scene of rare beauty created by nature itself. If you are willing to take any means to see Akan's frost flowers, we recommend to spend several nights during the coldest winter months of December through March, and join a local tour. Due to pooling hot spring water, some parts of the lake may have thin ice, and so it is extremely dangerous to look for frost flower by yourself. A tour guide will use their experience to lead you to places with the best conditions, boosting your chances to see the phenomenon. And of course, you'll enjoy other beautiful scenes such as the sunrise, diamond dust, and hoarfrost.
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