The drift ice around Hokkaido has been rather intense this year. It showed up over a week earlier than average in the Wakkanai region and has continued to dominate the northern Coastline of Hokkaido ever since. Just last week eight fishing vessels became trapped in the ice according to the Asahi Shimbum.
The strong ice flow combined with persistent northerly winds and cold air has allowed it to do something unusual, make it all the way to the pacific coastline of Japan past Nemuro and the Kuril islands.
The satellite image from NASA’s TERRA SAT.