In northern Japan, an annual winter festival has opened in Sapporo City, attracting crowds of tourists from home and abroad.
The 62nd Sapporo Snow Festival features 252 snow and ice sculptures on display at 3 sites across the city.
A ceremony on Monday at the main site in Odori Park marked the opening of the week-long event.
This year, many of the sculptures have Asian themes designed to welcome international tourism from within the region.
Among them is a huge sculpture of a historic building in Beijing.
Sapporo's sister city of Daejeon in central South Korea is represented by sculptures of its modern buildings.
Professor Emeritus Akira Suzuki of Hokkaido University, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year, is featured among the smaller snow sculptures.
About 2 million people are expected to visit the festival that runs through February 13th.
Mon, 07 Feb 2011 13:19:00 +0900(JST)