Winter festival underway on icy lake in Hokkaido

Winter festival underway on icy lake in Hokkaido

People on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido are making the most of the frigid weather by taking part in a fun event on a frozen lake.

The annual winter festival on Lake Shikaribetsu in the town of Shikaoi kicked off Saturday.

Visitors can enjoy various activities in a number of structures made from ice and snow on and around the lake. These structures are collectively called "kotan," which means "village" in the language of the indigenous Ainu people.

Some people enjoyed an outdoor bath while taking in the spectacular view of mountains surrounding the lake.

Others sipped cocktails in glasses made of ice at a bar also made of ice.
After taking a bath with his family, a boy from a nearby town said he felt cold at first, but was OK once he was in the water.

A woman from Shikaoi said it was great enjoying a footbath in the middle of the frozen lake.

The event runs through March 21st.