Sapporo Snow Festival Opens Amid Coronavirus Fears

A file photo of 2019 Sapporo Snow Festival / Image: Kyodo

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The annual Snow Festival began in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo on Tuesday, hit by fears over the coronavirus outbreak and soaring costs involved in transporting snow to the site amid a warm winter.

The number of visitors to the winter event in the Hokkaido capital through Feb. 11 looks likely to dip below last year’s record 2.74 million after China’s ban on group travel due to the virus outbreak led to a mass cancellation of hotel bookings.

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