Otaru Snow Light Path

Pathways designed for contemplative reflection, an escape from the rigours of daily life is the impetus behind the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival.

Seen as a spiritual event

Despite the tens of thousands of visitors each year, the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival is considered more of a spiritual event than a commercial one.

Now in its 25th year, the character of the festival remains unchanged and true to its roots.

Emphasizing DIY ethics and a commendable dedication to keeping the lights burning in defiance of the elements, the festival has a unique charm and instills a feeling with warmth and serenity.

Local Hospitality and DIY

Aside from the major sites of the festival listed after this image. I think it is best to acknowledge the heart of the festival by highlighting the more than 100,000 candles placed by local residents on their own property throughout the city. Take a stroll to recognize the effort and the DIY mindset of the citizens!

Otaru Canal Site

Known as one of the most important historical sites in the growth of Hokkaido, the canal site is transformed into a floating dance of candles glittering inside glass balls. Incidentally this was once a local herring fishing technique. Snow sculptures and the quaint charm of the brick warehouses and bridges make this a must-see stop on the path.

Multiple sites

Asarigawa Hot Spring Village Site

Famed for skiing and snowboarding, this site slightly outside the city center offers a path of light set in the natural surroundings. Candles placed on the snow capped stones in the river attract amateur photographers and those who want to enjoy an otherworldly sight.

Tenmaya Railway Site

The lonesome wail of the train that once carried coal is no longer heard on these these rails. It has been replaced by the sound of your boots crunching through the snow as you follow the track of lights buried in the snow thet seems to stretch on forever. A wonder place for refection.


February 11th, 2023 until February 18th, 2023 - Free

Click here for the official site.

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