Otaru is a port city from when Hokkaido was colonized. The city developed as a hub of southern Hokkaido during modernization in Japan, so many merchants, fishers, and transporters used Otaru as their home port. This historic city has many unique buildings. To the northern part of the port city, you can enjoy the snow and warm lights for a short period of time in the winter. Otaru, the city of canals, hills, and historic buildings invites guests to the world of a modern fairy tale. Many foreign visitors come to see this impressive event being held from February 3rd to 12th, 2017.
Photo Credit: kagami@Flickr
The illumination event held in Otaru started in 1998. The Otaru Snow Light Path decorates the canal and other parts of the city, including a discontinued line between Horonai and Temiya, the birthplace of the Hokkaido Railway. Thousands of lanterns are made of glass and glass floats, which represents the past prosperity of this port city, also known to the people as a place producing high-quality glassware for many years.
Photo Credit: SteFou@Flickr
The name of the Otaru Snow Light Path come from a famous writer who was born and raised in Otaru. Sei Ito, a writer from the Showa period. He made a poem to cherish the nostalgic view of Otaru. Borrowing the concept from his poem, the Otaru Snow Light Path illuminates the city with lanterns made by volunteer associations, including groups from overseas, such as Chinese and Korean groups. That is why the event has become so popular, it gives participants everlasting memories and experience during the the coldest time in a nostalgic port city.
Photo Credit: yukiakarinomichi.org
The event will be held for only ten days from the first Friday to the second Sunday in February 2017. Many old buildings, paths, and the canal are illuminated by colorful glass lanterns on the coldest days in the winter.
Photo Credit: daita saru@Flickr
The main parts of the event are located in three places; the Otaru canal, Temiya discontinued line area, and around the Asarigawa river spa. You can see the illusion of bobbing lights on the water’s surface, retro streets, and the snowy path. This is a great event to attend with a loved one before Valentine’s Day.
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Otaru Snow Light Path 2017
Event Area: Otaru Canal area and Temiyasen area in Otaru city
Access: Few minutes walk from Otaru station
Hours: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Illumination Period: February 3 – 12, 2017
Website: Otaru Snow Light Path 2017