• Kyodo


The 64th annual Sapporo Snow Festival began Tuesday, featuring 216 snow sculptures at three sites, including Odori Park, the main venue.

About 2 million people visit the festival each year, according to organizers. The event runs through Monday.

Major attractions this year include sculptures created from the mythology of Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture, the central shrine of Shinto.

Also among the exhibits are carvings of Nippon Ham Fighters manager Hideki Kuriyama and the team’s highly touted rookie, Shohei Otani, that were created by local citizens.

The temperature in Sapporo at 10 a.m. was minus 6.7 and snow was falling.