Thousands of visitors gathered in Sapporo on Wednesday to view elaborate ice and snow sculptures at the start of the Japanese city’s annual ice festival.
There are approximately 199 snow and ice sculptures on display at this year’s festival.
One of these was built to support the Japanese Olympic team, wishing them luck for the upcoming games in Sochi. Sapporo Snow Festival began in 1950, when six local high school students built six snow statues in the city’s Odori Park, the same location it is held to this day.
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