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Snow bird pattern appears on Mt. Fuji along with arrival of farming season

A pattern resembling a flying bird, known as "noutori" in Japanese, can be seen on the slope of Mount Fuji, as seen in this photo taken near Noson Park in the city of Fujiyoshida in Yamanashi Prefecture on May 14, 2020. (Mainichi/Toshio Odagiri)

FUJIYOSHIDA, Yamanashi -- The pattern of a soaring bird lingering on the side of Mount Fuji was spotted on May 14. The bird motif, known as "noutori" in Japanese, or "farming bird," was found between the seventh and eighth stations of the mountain, at an altitude of around 3,000 meters.

The snow covering Mount Fuji began to melt earlier this month, which is around the same time as usual years, according to city officials of Fujiyoshida in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo.

The bird pattern could not be seen clearly the day before due to yellow dust storms. This day, however, saw clear skies from the morning, and the figure of the bird ascending to the mountaintop stood out distinctly.

The appearance of the snow bird serves as a marker that loosely indicates the beginning of the rice-planting season for the communities located at the foot of the mountain. An upside-down image of Mount Fuji, called "sakasa Fuji," was reflected on a rice field near Noson Park in the Kamiyoshida district of this same city.

(Japanese original by Toshio Odagiri, Fujiyoshida Local Bureau)

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