Sunset Snowmen


An unusual celestial phenomenon can be seen from Kochi during the winter months around the southern part of the prefecture near Cape Muroto and Cape Ashizuri. From these vantage points, the sun sets into the Pacific Ocean. During the cold months, the temperature difference between the sea and the atmosphere sometimes sets up an optical illusion whereby the sun seems to ‘bleed’ into the horizon, forming the image of a second sun immediately beneath the real sun. The images join just above the horizon, making it seem as though a huge sunny snowman is peeking over the horizon. Lasting only seconds, you have to time it well and hope for a completely clear day.