Sapporo Snow Festival Opens

Society Guide to Japan Travel

Sapporo, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)—The sixty-eighth annual Sapporo Snow Festival opened on Monday, putting on display a total of 200 snow and ice sculptures at three sites, including Ōdōri Park at the heart of Sapporo, capital of Hokkaidō, northernmost Japan.

Exhibits at the main Ōdōri Park site include five large snow sculptures, including one featuring characters from the popular game Final Fantasy VII. Sculptures of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and robot characters from the Star Wars movie series, the first of which came out in 1977, are also on display.

In addition, visitor attention is being focused on 80 smaller snow sculptures made by local residents. They include sculptures of Pokémon Go smartphone game characters and Japanese musician Pikotarō, known for his nonsense tune "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen."

"I was impressed by the intricacy of the snow sculptures although they are large," a 56-year-old housewife from São Paulo who visited the festival said. "I'm looking forward to the illumination at night."

The festival attracts more than 2 million visitors, including from overseas, every year. This year's event will be held through Sunday.

A jumbo-sized statue of comedian Pikotarō greets visitors to the Ōdōri Park site at this year's Sapporo Snow Festival. (© Jiji)

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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