Tourism Concern Grows in Sapporo amid Snow Shortages

Society

Sapporo, Dec. 28 (Jiji Press)--Concerns are growing for tourism in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, due to serious snow shortages in the northernmost Japan prefecture this year.

Some ski resorts have yet to open, while organizers of the annual Sapporo Snow Festival are struggling to gather enough snow.

"I've never experienced a shortage of snow as serious as this year," a city official in charge of the festival said. The festival is scheduled to start on Jan. 31 next year.

The cumulative amount of snowfall in central Sapporo as of Friday night stood at some 80 centimeters, around 60 pct of the normal level, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. On Saturday morning, the amount of snowfall stood at some 15 centimeters, the agency said.

The atmospheric pressure is not typical of winter patterns that cause snowfalls. In addition, recent average temperatures have been some 3 degrees Celsius higher than in normal years, melting snow quickly.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press