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Friday, February 10, 2012

The 14th Snow Light Path Festival (第14回小樽雪あかりの路)| February 3 to 12, 2012

The Otaru Snow Light Festival (小樽雪あかりの路)is a famous winter festival held in Feb. in Otaru, during which the city becomes decorated lights and small snow statues for ten days. The festival usually runs at the same time as the nearby Sapporo Snow Festival, making it possible for travelers in Hokkaido visit both of the festivals on the same trip!

The combination of the snowy town and the glittering lanterns creates a very romantic atmosphere. There are two main festival areas which get lit up daily from 5:00 to 9:00 pm: the unga (canal) venue and the Temiyasan (former Temiya line) venue. In addition, many locals also put luntern displays in front of their shops and houses.

It takes about 10-15 minutes from the JR Otaru station to the venues and visitors can easily enjoy the festival on foot.

I visited the festival during the daytime and at night. I'll show you both of them!

This is Otaru canal
The unga venue is located along 300m of the town's iconic Itaru Canal (Otaru Unga). The restored warehouses and gas lamps along the canal make for a very romantic setting, and the canal itself is covered with small buoys that hold candles. 

I'm sure 99.9% of couples are taking pics in this ♡ object located in front of Otaru canal↓

Along the path beside the water there is a row of small snow statues that also hold candles.

All of the statues will be more beautiful at night!

There are made by local people and a lot of volunteers outside of the city, while the snow statues and ice sculptures of Sapporo Snow Festival are constructed by the Self Defense Forces.

Our tour guests really enjoyed this venue during the day time first!

We moved to Temiyasen (former Temiya line) venue↓
Betweene the canal and the train station is the Temiyasan venue, which stretches for about half a kilometer along the tracks of the former Temiya line.

Volunteers were preparing or fixing snow candles during the daytime↓

All of them are lit up every night by volunteers! I really appreciate their efforts!

This festival venue crosses Sushiya street (寿司屋通り)and I recommend to eat sushi before or after watching the snow statues and lanterns!

The snowman is rowing a boat!!! How cute it is!

I love this ♡ bridge!

At the middle of the Temiyasen venue, there a few stands and shops, where we can enjoy something hot to drink!

I really recommend this tunnel covered over the former railways!

A lot of candles are lined up along the tunnel↓

We always feel nostalgic when we pass the tunnel! The Temiya line was the first railways in Hokkaido, constructed in 1880, carrying mainly coals and seafood.

We really enjoy the festival in this Temiyasen venue, too!!

Until it got dark, we spand a couple of hours on Sakaemachi Street in the downtown area of the city!

Voila!!!
I'll show you the festival at night!!!!

The canal is packed with a lot of people! The statues along the canal are very beautiful! So is the canal covered itself with small buoys that hold candles!!!

The snowmen were lit up and we were so excited!!!

We felt as if we were in a snow wonderland!

See!!! The tunnel covered over the former railways are gorgeous!!!

We can enjoy several types of lanterns at the venues!

 These are made of wax! How beautiful they are!!!

We can enjoy the ICE BAR, drinking cold beer!! Actually I enjoy a couple of beers in this bar every year!! Hahaha!!

I really recommend the Snow Light Path Festival (小樽雪あかりの路).
If you want to know the general information on Otaru Canal, please refer to my another post→→click here!

■Where is Otaru canal?

View Larger Map


■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?
I'll guide you! Plz click here!

2 Comments:

Nightflight said...

It look gorgeous! Kimisan!

K.K. said...

>Nightflight
Let's enjoy this festival together next year, too! I love this romantic atmosphere!!!
How about the ICE BAR? Exciting, isn't it?

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