The winter group, numbers 99 through 118, begins with a scene of Kinryūzan Temple at Akasaka, with a red-on-white color scheme that is reserved for propitious occasions. Snow immediately signals the season and is depicted with particular skill: individual snowflakes drift through the gray sky, while below, on the roof of a distant temple, dots of snow are embossed for visual effect.
At Tago Bay I came out, and looked after— to see the hemp-white of Mount Fuji's lofty peak under a flurry of snow.
As this ancient poem suggests, snow in winter offers the opportunity for the leisure activity of "snow admiring," usually while drinking wine. Although snow is the most recognizable symbol of winter, another motif associated with this season is the crane, a symbol of longevity, celebrated in the annual crane hunt of the shogun.
The Edo public would expect to see dramatic depictions of chilly winter nights: the theme of cold weather and the evocation of melancholy are basic to the meaning of the scenes. The winter chill also gives rise to such emblems of Edo popular culture as bowls of hot noodles or roasted yams sold by street vendors. Winter ends with the coming of the new year, signified by the auspicious ringing of Buddhist temple bells.