The 64th edition of the annual Sapporo Snow Festival started on Tuesday in the Hokkaido capital, with more than 200 snow and ice sculptures displayed at three sites.
The festival’s officials expect for about two million people to come and see the icy works of art which line Odori Park, the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and the main street in Susukino.
A total of 214 sculptures will be displayed, with 131 at Odori site, 23 at Tsudome site and 60 at Susukino site. Visitors can enjoy the festival the whole day through, as illuminations finish at 22:00 at Odori site, at 17:00 at Tsudome site and at 23:00 at Susukino site.
The festival will last for seven days. It started on February 5 and will close next Monday, on February 11.
Major attractions of this year’s festival include statues created from the mythology of the Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture, the central shrine of the Shinto religion, Kyodo news agency states.
The Snow Festival began in 1950, when local high school students built six snow statues in Odori Park, according to the festival’s official site. In 1955, the Self-Defense Force joined in and built the very first massive snow sculpture, for which the Snow Festival has become famous for now.