Cyclists across Japan have taken to the streets in an attempt to find a sun-filled evening in the middle of the city, after a series of record high temperatures and severe snowfalls forced the cancellation of work in a key part of the country’s capital.
Hundreds of thousands of commuters had to turn to buses, train lines and ferries to reach work and public transport centres in the capital, Tokyo, after the weather worsened and many areas saw temperatures drop to -35C (93F).
Japan has had record high levels of heatwave in recent years, as the nation struggles to cope with a record number of heatwaves and droughts.
At the weekend, temperatures in the city of Chiba, a city of about 20,000 people, reached a record high of 26.2C (84F) and temperatures in Kyoto, a smaller city in central Japan, hit 40.4C (109F).
The severe weather, combined with record-high temperatures and heavy snowfall have also prompted people to start taking to the roads.
“I’m going to be doing some sunbathing for the afternoon,” one commuter told the AFP news agency.
Elsewhere in Japan, schools and kindergartens were closed in several regions, with many schools having to close because of the lack of electricity.
In the capital Tokyo, many schools were closed to make way for road construction.
Several major cities in Japan were placed on a weather alert.
There was also heavy snowfalls across much of central Japan and parts of southern Hokkaido, with some areas recorded as low as -40C (122F).
In a bid to encourage commuters to use the streets, officials in the country announced that public transport services would be cut on Saturday and Sunday.
The government has also imposed restrictions on people travelling to the capital to take advantage of the heatwave.
For some residents, the weather conditions are just too much to bear, with thousands of residents being forced to pack their belongings in bags and take to the city streets to avoid freezing temperatures.