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Snowy Spectacle
さっぽろ雪まつり 巨大雪像が人々を魅了

20190216_250 The main venues for the Sapporo Snow Festival, one of Japan's largest winter events, opened in the Hokkaido capital's Chuo Ward on Feb. 4. The snow sculptures at the Odori and Susukino sites were also bathed in light after sunset.

A total of 194 large and small snow and ice sculptures were created for the two venues, as well as the Tsudome site in the city's Higashi Ward, which opened on Jan. 31. Among them were giant figures themed on movies and historical buildings, and smaller artworks produced by citizens' groups to reflect social conditions.

At the Ice Square at the Odori site, a large ice sculpture themed on Yushan, the highest mountain in Taiwan at 3,952 meters above sea level, and the old Kaohsiung Railway Station built during Japan's colonial rule of Taiwan, was on display. The sculpture was made from 800 ice blocks each weighing 110 kilograms and is about 10 meters tall, 18 meters wide and 16 meters long.

At Citizen's Square, where snow sculptures created by citizens of Sapporo were displayed, people snapped photos of a snow figure of tennis player Osaka Naomi.

The number of tourists to Hokkaido, especially foreigners, plunged after the magnitude 6.7 Eastern Iburi Earthquake last September. The local sightseeing industry is hoping the 70th Snow Festival -- held at almost the same time as Lunar New Year holidays in many East and Southeast Asian countries -- will help bring back foreign tourists. More than 2 million Japanese and foreign tourists visit the festival every year on average.

[本文 - 254 words]

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【KEYWORDS】

spectacle 壮観、見せ物

venue 会場

ward 区

sculpture 彫像(後出 figure も同意)

(be) bathed in light (ここでは)照らし出される

(be) themed on ~ ~をテーマにする

reflect 反映する

square 広場

Yushan 玉山

~ meters above sea level 標高~メートル

Kaohsiung 高雄

colonial rule 植民地支配

snap a photo 写真を撮る

plunge 急減する

earthquake 地震

sightseeing industry 観光業界

Lunar New Year 春節

【写真説明】 slide 滑り台

週刊英語学習紙 毎日ウィークリーのサイト 「Mainichi Weekly」

Feb 15, 2019 1面 |