In regions around the world where roads often freeze, safety naturally becomes a greater concern due to the increased danger of accidents. Drivers are encouraged to put on winter tires, use chains, and take other measures to improve traction on icy roads.

The Kiso District in Japan's landlocked mountainous Nagano Prefecture is famous for its natural beauty and historic towns along the old Nakasendo trail that have retained much of their Edo era charm. In the frigid winter months, driving is usually safe within these towns where the speed limit is low. However, driving conditions can be quite treacherous on highways and other rural roads.

To avert potential accidents, the Twitter account for the PR Department at Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's Chubu Regional Maintenance Bureau posted a winter driving safety message using an unconventional but highly effective visual prop, drawing considerable attention as a result.

"Did you notice...?
These ramen noodles look strange...
On the (roads of the) Kiso District of Nagano Prefecture, which are under the jurisdiction of the Chubu Regional Maintenance Bureau, temperatures can drop so low that (instant) ramen freezes as it is ?
Please be very careful when driving on the roads in the coming season, and not only in the Kiso District⚠️⚠️
The staff (employees) enjoyed (the ramen) afterwards!"

In a photo taken in January 2022 at the Kiso Maintenance Station of the National Highway Office's Iida Maintenance Branch, you can see a container of instant noodles with the noodles lifted up in the air with chopsticks still attached, completely frozen.

If your instant noodles might freeze while you eat them, as the image implies, you can only imagine how cold it must be. Indeed, temperatures in the region have been recorded as low as -18.8 C (-1.84 F).

The impactful image surprised many people, eliciting comments such as:

  • "When I went to Nagano Prefecture, I experienced having my jeans freeze for the first time in my life..."
  • "I used to live in Kiso and we had the save the vegetables from freezing by keeping them in the refrigerator!"
  • "I remember driving through that area in winter once and I was so nervous even though I had snow tires and was driving very carefully."
  • "Wow, looks just like a food sample!"
  • "It gets that cold in places, huh?"

Some people also noted that, while temperatures were surely cold and the image was effective, the person who conducted the experiment probably needed to wait for a little while for the noodles to freeze, as it probably wasn't instantaneous.

If you're ever driving in the Kiso District, or any cold region where roads can get icy, be sure to take all necessary safety precautions. And if you're thinking of reproducing the experiment, you might want to wear warm clothes...

By - grape Japan editorial staff.