Snow Festival in Hokkaido Affected by Relatively Low Snowfall

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The northern area of Japan, Hokkaido is widely known for its beautiful winter scenery and snow festival. Year in and year out, tens of thousands of local and international tourists come visit the prefecture in order to go sightseeing, try out its wide selection of local cuisines or delicacies and to personally experience the wonders to its snow festival.


Usually, its snow festival features around two hundred gigantic and picturesque ice sculpture displays. Travellers from different parts of the globe love to check out these intricately made ice designs. In the past, the organizers of the snow festival makes use of approximately thirty thousand tons of ice for sculptures with unique and interesting designs that range from anime characters to famous racehorses.


However, this 2020, Hokkaido experienced a setback in the much anticipated snow festival due to climate change that ultimately affected the supply of ice and snow. With relatively warm temperatures prevailing around Hokkaido area, the organizing committee of the snow festival are left with no choice but to purchase snow powder from distant towns and prefectures like Niseko in order to complete their well known ice sculptures. This is the very first time that the organizers in Hokkaido experienced this kind of challenge for the snow festival.


According to Yumato Sato, the officer in charge of the snow festival, “This lack of snow is unprecedented. We had to bring in snow from places we had never reached out to before.” What makes its more challenging is that high quality sculpture would require pristine snow.


In view of the lack of snow supply, the main attraction of the snow festival which is the hundred meter long ice slide is reduced to just ten meters. Moreover, due to a low snowfall in the country, a lot of ski resorts in Japan are temporarily unable to operate their business.


Reference: Sapporo Snow Festival ending after unprecedented lack of snow


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