- Title: JAPAN: SNOW FESTIVAL IN TOKYO.
- Date: 25th August 2004
- Summary: KIDS LINING UP KIDS SLIDE DOWN THE SNOW SLOPE VARIOUS OF CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS TAKING PICTURES
- Embargoed: 9th September 2004 13:00
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Entertainment,Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAA98ZOB9I6NJIANGT28EJ45D4
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Carefully conserved winter snow has helped one neighbourhood in Tokyo to cool off in the blistering summer heat.
Tokyo is having one of its hottest summers on record. Temperatures for the most part of July and August have not dipped once below 30 degrees celcius (86.00F). In late July it even peaked at around a historic high of 40 degrees celsius (104.00F) in the capital centre.
So for the neighbour of Azabu Juban (pronounced Ah-zah-boo-joo-ban) in downtown Tokyo, the daily delivery of 20 tonnes of snow was a god-send.
This snow, packed and carefully preserved high above in the mountain township of Hida before the spring melt, once it hit the Tokyo summer heat had to be deftly and quickly sculpted in time for the evening festival.
"We do this every year but as soon as we start up and finish the slide kids just line up for a go, it's our main attraction," said Kei Yoshikawa, an city official from Hida in charge of its ski-slopes.
Indeed it was not the cute snowmen nor the delicately carved snow temple that brought in the crowds, but the four metre slide made of snow.
"It's mindboggling to think there's this snow slide in the middle of Tokyo and my daughter's totally delighted, she's asking to go once more," said one mother, Michisa Numata, as her daughter Ayaka begged for another round.
"Where I live we don't get snow so it's great fun,"
added nine-year old Yuta Makiguchi from the tropical island of Takara, of Kagoshima prefecture, southern Japan.
But as you'd expect of snow in the summer sun, the carvings don't last the day.
So 20 tonnes is brought in the following day and a whole new sculpture is made over each day for the duration of this three day festival.
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