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Otaru Snow Light Path Festival 2021

Enjoy the spirit of event with tiny illuminated snow statues

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva
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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check directly with event organizers for the latest updates.

The Otaru Snow Light Path Festival is an event that takes place each February in Otaru, Japan, during which the city dresses up in lights and becomes overgrown with small snow statues for around ten days. There are two distinct areas—the Unga Kaijo area and the Temiyasen Kaijo area—which get lit up from 5 pm to 9 pm daily. These two main areas are both situated within a 15-minute walk of the train station, so tourists can easily enjoy the festive atmosphere on foot.

The Unga Kaijo area is the most famous location of The Otaru Snow Light Path Festival. It is situated along the town's iconic Otaru Canal with the gas lamps and restored warehouses along the way, making a romantic setting. The site itself is dappled with small buoys holding candles. Along the path beside the water, you will find a row of tiny snow statues that hold candles as well.

The Temiyasen Kaijo stretches along the tracks of the abolished Temiyasen railway line area and is situated between the train station and the canal. During the festival, the pathway gets lined by illuminated snow statues and many lanterns, as well as a variety of food stands.

Literally, every corner of Otaru city seems they have something to surprise you with. You can discover that many locals put lantern displays in front of their residences and shops. The blend of the snowy town and the sparkling lanterns creates a magnificent atmosphere.

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