Sapporo Snow Festival kicks off at main sites

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An annual snow festival opens its two main sites on Tuesday in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo, Hokkaido, amid coronavirus concerns and snow shortages.

The 71st Sapporo Snow Festival kicks off at the main Odori Park and Susukino sites in the city center. A smaller site at Tsudome opened last Friday.

A total of about 200 snow and ice sculptures are on display. Highlights include five giant snow sculptures at the Odori Park site, including one depicting a Polish palace which is half the real size and another featuring a 12-meter tall thoroughbred horse from Hokkaido.

A collection of 60 ice sculptures are on display at the Susukino site.

Visitors at the Tsudome site can enjoy giant snow slides.

This year’s festival looks a little different from the last year’s, which attracted 2.7 million people from around the world.

Notices warning visitors against the coronavirus outbreak are posted at festival venues. Giant slides are also smaller than usual due to snow shortages.

The festival closes at all the three sites on Tuesday next week.


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