An ice sculpture depicting Yushan (玉山) and the historic Kaohsiung Train Station was unveiled yesterday as the 70th Sapporo Snow Festival, one of the world’s largest winter carnivals, formally opened in Hokkaido, Japan.
Deputy Representative to Japan Kuo Chung-shi (郭仲熙) attended a ceremony to unveil the 10m tall and 18m wide sculpture in Odori Park, along with several Japanese politicians.
Kuo thanked organizers for again creating a Taiwan-themed sculpture for the eighth consecutive year for the annual festival, which attracts about 2.5 million visitors a year from around the world.
Photo courtesy of the Mainichi Shimbun
Kuo praised the decades-long ties between Taiwan and Hokkaido, noting that Taiwanese last year made 600,000 visits to Hokkaido, and the memorandums of understanding the prefecture has signed with Taipei and Kaohsiung.
Festival organizers said construction of the Taiwanese sculpture, located at the Mainichi Newspapers Ice Square in Odori Park, began on Jan. 15 and was completed on Friday.
The two Taiwanese landmarks have ties to Japan.
A “friendship mountain treaty” between Yushan and Mount Fuji was signed on Feb. 7, 2014.
The Kaohsiung Train Station was built in 1940 during the Japanese colonial era.
It has been preserved due to popular demand, but in 2002 was moved 82.6m southeast of its original site to allow for construction of a new station.
The old building is to be moved back to its original site when the new station is completed in 2023.
The Taiwan-themed sculpture is one of 250 on display at the snow festival’s three main sites. While the Odori and Susukino sites opened yesterday, the Tsudomi site was opened to visitors on Thursday.
The festival runs through Monday next week.
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