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Japan's snow festival is a beautiful annual event — here are 2018's most impressive snow sculptures

Business Insider Logo By Ben Gilbert of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 39:  Over 50 years ago, a group of high school students on the Japanese island of Hokkaido decided to build snow sculptures. They invited the public to visit, and come they did. "The festival attracted about fifty thousand people and soon became a major winter event of Sapporo," the 2018 Sapporo Snow Festival official history reads. In modern times, millions of people visit Hokkaido's largest city - Sapporo, like the beer of the same name - each February to celebrate the Sapporo Snow Festival. It's easy to see why: Though I wasn't lucky enough to be there myself, my former colleague-turned-composer Dale North flew to Sapporo for the festivities. Here's a tour through his eyes of the best snow sculptures from this year's festival!

Over 50 years ago, a group of high school students on the Japanese island of Hokkaido decided to build snow sculptures. They invited the public to visit, and come they did. "The festival attracted about fifty thousand people and soon became a major winter event of Sapporo," the 2018 Sapporo Snow Festival official history reads.

In modern times, millions of people visit Hokkaido's largest city - Sapporo, like the beer of the same name - each February to celebrate the Sapporo Snow Festival. It's easy to see why:

Though I wasn't lucky enough to be there myself, my former colleague-turned-composer Dale North flew to Sapporo for the festivities. Here's a tour through his eyes of the best snow sculptures from this year's festival!

© Dale North

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