Sapporo Snow Festival Starts
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Sapporo, Feb. 4 (Jiji Press)--The annual Sapporo Snow Festival started on Tuesday in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, amid record-low snowpack.
A total of 201 snow and ice sculptures are exhibited at the main venue of Odori Park and two other spots during the event, which will be held through Feb. 11. The festival attracts over two million visitors every year.
This year, the executive committee of the festival took the unusual step of transporting snow from the snowy Hokkaido towns of Kutchan and Kimobetsu for the event.
It also made antiseptic available mainly at resting places of the venues and put up multilingual posters to encourage visitors to wear face masks and wash their hands, aiming to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Sculptures in Odori Park include a total of five giant snow statues that feature motifs of the Ainu indigenous people, including the ship they used for trade activities in a wide range of areas and Blakiston's fish owl they worshipped as a guardian of villages.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]