The annual Sapporo Snow Festival began in Hokkaido on Monday with about 190 snow and ice sculptures on display.
The festival, being held for the 70th time, is expected to draw about two million visitors through Feb 11, according to organizers.
One of the most popular sculptures on Monday was that of U.S. Open and Australian Open tennis champion Naomi Osaka, Fuji TV reported. Other drawcards include sculptures of TV, movie ("Star Wars") and smartphone game characters, historical figures, virtual pop singer Hatsune Miku and Chiko-chan, the half-CG 5-year-old girl from the NHK variety program "Chiko-chan ni shikarareru!” (Getting Told Off by Chiko-chan!).
One of the biggest sculptures is the Helsinki Cathedral, which was made by a team from the Ground Self Defense Force. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Finland.
The festival is being held at three venues — the main Odori park site, Tsudome (where it began on Jan 31) and Susukino. The sculptures at Odori and Susukino will be lit up each night.© Japan Today