Photo/IllutrationThe extreme heat creates a mirage in front of Tokyo Station on July 23. (Naoko Kawamura)

  • Photo/Illustraion

The temperature hit a Japanese record high of 41.1 degrees in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, on July 23, while the mercury also reached unprecedented levels in Tokyo.

The record-setting heat in Kumagaya, north of the capital, was recorded at a Japan Meteorological Agency observation point at 2:16 p.m. It edged the previous record of 41.0 degrees set in Shimanto, Kochi Prefecture, on Aug. 12, 2013, the agency said.

In the western Tokyo city of Ome at 12:49 p.m., temperature soared to 40.5 degrees, the first time the capital has officially recorded 40-plus heat.

By 1:40 p.m., Ome’s temperature had reached 40.8 degrees.

Tajimi, Gifu Prefecture, in central Japan, also baked under 40.7 degree heat by 1:40 p.m.

As of 1 p.m., 195 of the 927 JMA observation points across Japan had recorded temperatures of 35 degrees or above.

On July 18, temperatures of 40 degrees and above were recorded in Japan for the first time in almost five years, with Tajimi and Mino cities in Gifu Prefecture hitting 40.7 degrees and 40.6 degrees, respectively.