Train Passenger Captures Surreal Photos of Hokkaido Blanketed in Snow

photos of hokkaido

Hokkaido, Japan's snow-covered northernmost prefecture, is the magical background for Chinese photographer Ying Yin‘s series Wind of Okhotsk. Inspired by her desire to visit a snowy area, the lush winter scenery, blanketed by white powder, makes for a powerful set of images.

Starting in Sapporo, the capital, and ending in Abashiri on the coast of the Okhotsk Sea, Yin traveled on the Okhotsk-no-Kaze (“Wind of Okhotsk”). The seasonal train runs each winter to connect otherwise distant towns across the vast island. Along the way, Yin captured the lonely stillness of the wintery land, as the snow highlighted unexpected details, causing them to emerge from the white haze.

“The snow acted like a frame, making everything individual,” Yin tells My Modern Met. “The buildings, the walking people, the cars….all frozen in time, becoming a story inside this frame—a silent and lonely story. These stories belong to the cities, the cities build up by these stories.”

Yin, who studied fashion design before segueing into work as a photo editor, has taken two trips to this frozen land. The resulting images show a keen eye for design and symmetry, as she is able to capture the beautifully surreal and sleepy nature of these cities trapped within their snowy cages. Through her work, viewers can feel the chill in the air, and sense the intense solitude of the winter in the isolated area. The dense white air acts as a background, providing a startling uniform canvas on which her subjects are laid.

Photographer Ying Yin explores the wintery scenery of Hokkaido in her series Wind of Okhotsk.

Wind of Okhotsk by Yin Ying yin ying hokkaido photography photos of hokkaido yin ying hokkaido photography yin ying hokkaido photography

Yin's photographs were captured during two separate visits to Japan's northernmost prefecture, where she rode the Okhotsk-no-Kaze, a seasonal train that connects distant cities.

photos of hokkaido yin ying hokkaido photography Wind of Okhotsk by Yin Ying Wind of Okhotsk by Yin Ying pictures of hokkaido

Yin's surreal photographs highlight the magical solitude of these isolated towns blanketed with heavy snow.

photos of hokkaido pictures of hokkaido Wind of Okhotsk by Yin Ying photos of hokkaido pictures of hokkaido photos of hokkaido yin ying hokkaido photography

Ying Yin: Behance

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Ying Yin.

Related Articles:

Visually Pulsing Photos of Tokyo at Night Show the City Saturated in Neon Lights

Ethereal “Sea of Clouds” Cloaks Japan in a Pastel-Colored Fog

Heavy Snowfall in Kyoto Turns the City Into a Beautiful Winter Wonderland

Magical Photos of Moscow Covered in Christmas Lights and Snow

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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