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Village Made of Snow, Ice on Lake Shikaribetsu in Hokkaido Offers Experience of Frozen World

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tourists enjoy a drink at the ice bar at Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan in Shikaoi, Hokkaido, on Thursday.

An event called Shikaribetsuko Kotan is underway in Shikaoi, Hokkaido, featuring a frigid village made of snow and ice buildings resting on frozen Lake Shikaribetsu. Visitors are enjoying the intense cold of the icy world.

The event, which has been held since 1980, takes the name Kotan, meaning village, from the Ainu language.

On offer are six igloos — huts made of stacked snow and ice blocks — and an open-air hot spring and footbath on the ice.

“The hot water really relieves the piercing cold,” said a 19-year-old university student from Kita Ward, Kyoto.

The event is scheduled to continue through March 10.