13:10 6 February 2017
Sapporo snow festival opens, featuring Trump sculpture among others
SAPPORO, Feb. 6, Kyodo
The annual Sapporo snow festival began Monday in the Hokkaido capital, featuring 200 sculptures made from snow and ice, including one of new U.S. President Donald Trump.
Over 2 million people are expected to visit the weeklong 68th Sapporo Snow Festival, which is held at three sites in the city and runs through Feb. 12.
Among the larger attractions, which are illuminated at night, are sculptures of "Star Wars" characters to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the movie's release as well as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
There is also a sculpture of the Central Golden Hall at Kofukuji, one of the most prestigious Buddhist temples in the country located in the western Japan city of Nara, ahead of its scheduled completion of reconstruction in 2018.
Among other exhibits are smaller statues created by local citizens, including one featuring Japanese comedian Piko Taro, whose song "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen," now holds the Guinness World Record as the shortest song to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"I had always wanted to visit here and was surprised that (the statues are) are made with such detail," said Chieko Tsuyuzaki, a 47-year-old from Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, who visited the festival sites with her daughter.