Snow festival opens in Sapporo

Snow festival opens in Sapporo

The annual snow festival has opened in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo.

The 69th Sapporo Snow Festival began in the capital city of Hokkaido on Monday at the main site in Odori Park and another site. It kicked off a few days earlier at another venue in the eastern part of the city.

More than 200 snow and ice sculptures are on display including 5 snow statues and 2 ice sculptures standing 15 meters high.

Among them are recreations of part of Yakushiji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the ancient capital of Nara, and one featuring a scene from the popular video game Final Fantasy.

A relief honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer Leonard Bernstein has been built to promote an annual summer music festival in Sapporo for young artists.

One site with 60 sculptures is reserved for pedestrians only during parts of the day. Another includes a slide made of snow.

The festival runs through February 12th.