Dazzling ‘ice fall’ festival entices visitors out in sub-zero chill

Source : www.asahi.com

Ice sculptures illuminated with multicolored lights brighten the darkness at the annual Sounkyo Onsen Hyobaku Festival in Kamikawa, Hokkaido, on Jan. 25. (Nobuhiro Shirai)

KAMIKAWA, Hokkaido--The mercury may regularly dip below minus 10 degrees, but the shimmering exhibits of the Sounkyo Onsen Hyobaku (ice fall) Festival here are enough to entice anyone out into the shivering cold.

Visitors were dazzled by the event’s giant ice sculptures, illuminated by multi-colored lights in a frozen valley, when it kicked off on Jan. 25.

A visitor walks inside a giant ice sculpture at the annual Sounkyo Onsen Hyobaku Festival in Kamikawa, Hokkaido, on Jan. 25. (Nobuhiro Shirai)

The exhibition contains 30 large and small ice sculptures showcased over 10,000 square meters of a riverbed. Its name refers to the fact that in deep winter’s sub-zero temperatures, even waterfalls freeze.

Demonstrating that phenomenon in spectacular style, the exhibits were created by squirting massive frames with river water over a two-month period.

The local tourist association has long since used such harsh conditions to create a fun and magical experience, which has been enjoyed by many at the festival for the past 42 years.

 

*The article was published on The Asahi Shimbun Digital on January 26, 2018 at 16:25 JST

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