Foreign technical trainees taken on drift ice tour in Hokkaido

Foreign nationals working in northern Japan under technical intern and other programs have taken part in a sightseeing cruise to view drift ice off the coast of Hokkaido.

The event was organized by the city of Mombetsu and a local fishery processing industry association. The group wanted to introduce residents from warmer climates such as Thailand and Vietnam to ice floes, one of the natural wonders in this region.

About 80 people plowed through the Sea of Okhotsk on board the icebreaker Garinko on Tuesday.

Drift ice flows toward the coast of Mombetsu daily at this time of year, creating a sea of pure white.

The passengers were seen enjoying the unique experience.

A woman from Indonesia said she had fun seeing drift ice for the first time. She said Mombetsu is cold, but that she has come to like the city's beautiful scenery.

Kato Yoko works for a local international exchange body that organized the event. She said her group hopes to keep planning more opportunities for people from abroad to get to know the city.