TOTTORI (Kyodo) A sand sculpture festival kicked off Saturday at the Tottori Sand Dune in Tottori Prefecture featuring works by artists from more than 10 countries focusing on the theme of fairy tales.

The World Sand Sculpture Festival, which runs through May 31, expects to draw about 200,000 people, organizers said, adding that culinary Tottori specialties such as pear-flavored ice cream and crab ramen noodles will also be available at the site.

The exhibition features 19 works, including 10 statues in competition from the Netherlands, Canada and Germany. Around 2,700 tons of sand were used to make the sculptures.

Among the statues, which took about two weeks to complete, are a tableau 8 meters high and 30 meters wide featuring a medieval castle, Gulliver being roped by the Lilliputians, Rapunzel and Cinderella.

“All the works are curved out well, and I just can’t believe they are made of sand,” said Kazuko Koyama, a 49-year-old housewife from Aichi Prefecture who came to the event.

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