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Fireworks exploding over a river.
Local Festivals
  1. Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo, Hokkaidō)
  2. Aomori Nebuta (Aomori City, Aomori)
  3. Sumida River Firework Festival (Tokyo)
  4. Takayama Festival (Takayama City, Gifu)
  5. Naked (Hadaka) Festival (Inazawa City, Aichi)
  6. Wakakusayama Mountain Burning (Nara City, Nara)
  7. Gion Festival (Kyoto City, Kyoto)
  8. Awa Dance Festival (Tokushima City, Tokushima)
  9. Yosakoi Festival (Kōchi City, Kōchi)
  10. Nagasaki Kunchi (Nagasaki City, Nagasaki)
  11. Eisā Festival (Okinawa City, Okinawa)
  12. Niihama Taiko Festival
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A snow sculpture of a dinosaur is lit up at night
The 2004 Snow Festival featured a dinosaur sculpture.
Photo from Photo by Minoru Takano.
Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo, Hokkaidō)
In February of each year, a snow festival takes place in the city of Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost prefecture, Hokkaidō. During the snow festival, the main street passing through the heart of Sapporo is lined with 1.5 kilometers of snow sculptures. The Sapporo Snow Festival, which is now known even outside of Japan, began in 1950 when some local junior high and high school students made six snow sculptures in Ōdōri Park. As the scope of the festival grew, visitors from various parts of the world increased and now more than 200 sculptures are created and a crowd of over two million turns out to see the large winter event. A variety of snow sculptures are produced, including animation characters, animal shapes, and replicas of famous buildings from around the world. It is said that the equivalent of about 7,000 five-ton truckloads of snow is used for the festival. To date, the largest snow sculpture made was in 1972 when the Winter Olympics were held in Sapporo. The sculpture titled “Welcome to Sapporo Gulliver” stood 25 meters tall and 1,300 truck loads of snow were used in its production.
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