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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 with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).

The Otaru Snow Light Path Festival is an event that takes place each February in Otaru, Japan, during which the city dresses 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.

Snow Path Festival at Otaru Canal 2020
Snow Path Festival at Otaru Canal
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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.

Ice candleholder at Snow Light Path Festival  2020
Ice candleholder at Snow Light Path Festival
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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.

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival 2020
Otaru Snow Light Path Festival
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Literally, every corner of Otaru city seems they have something to surprise you. You can discover 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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