Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival Japan

10 February - 17 February

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The Otaru Snow Light Path Festival is a winter festival held every February in Otaru on the island of Hokkaido in Japan.

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival

Initiated in 1999, the idea of the festival is to provide people with warmth during the long winter nights in Japan’s northern island. The festival celebrates the natural warmth of people.

There are three main venues to the light path, although shops and houses all around the town are illuminated with lanterns in their windows.

The Otaru Unga (Otaru Canal) is the main venue, with candles, lights and snow statues stretching for 300 metres along the canal. This is around a 10-minute walk from the railway station. In between the Temiyasen venue is along the abandoned Temiyasen railway line. The third venue is at the upper ropeway station on Tenguyana Mountain. This has spectacular views of the city.

Otaru Unga in the snow
Otaru Unga in the snow

When Is the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival 2024?

It is held from 10 to 17 February 2024, coinciding with the Sapporo Snow Festival. The main sites are illuminated between 5pm and 9pm.

Where Is Otaru Snow Light Path Festival?

In the town of Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan.

Things to Do in Hokkaido

Hokkaido, the most northerly island in Japan, is famed for the quality of its seafood, especially the scallops and crab. You can ski at Niseko a resort which is famed for the quality of the soft snow, with the skiing season coinciding with the festival. While there make sure you take a traditional Japanese onsen, and enjoy the amazing sushi and sashimi.

Getting To Otaru from Sapporo

Many trains run daily from Sapporo to Otaru taking approximately 30 to 45 minutes depending upon whether you take a local or rapid train.

Accommodation in Otaru

There is plenty of accommodation in Otaru, Sapporo and Niseko. Why not try our flight and accommodation comparison site.

Further Information

For any further details, click here.


10 February
17 February


Otaru Unga
Otaru,HokkaidoJapan+ Google Map

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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