A short 45-minute ride away from Sapporo, there is a smaller snow festival in Otaru, which is well worth the trip. Just a few minutes' walk from the station is the Unga Kaijo area along the canal, which is lined with thousands of candles illuminating the way. While only around 300 meters long, it is breathtaking.
For those who choose, you can add your own candle to the estimated 1.2 million that will decorate the streets before the festivities end. On the way back to the station is a half-kilometer path along the abandoned Temiya-sen railway line, which you can also enjoy a walk down.
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A semi-professional photographer and English teacher, Illaura is a long-term resident of Japan who photographs every day life and scenes in Japan to promote a better understanding of Japanese culture.