Even as time passes, Otaru Snow Light Path will carry on
Otaru Snow Light Path, a magical event where candlelights gently illuminate the old townscape, began in 1999 by local volunteers. It is held at the Canal, Temiya Line, and Asarigawa Onsen main venues, Tenguyama and Otaru Art Base sub-venues as well as 40 sites throughout the city such as Canal Plaza. Most of the floating glass candles reminiscent of old fishing gear that twinkle on the water of the canal, the snow candles emitting soft light, and sculptures are handmade by volunteers. Although the event attracts more than 400,000 visitors from around the world, the organizers say that the scale of the event or number of visitors is not what matters. The idea behind the festival is spiritual; where visitors can feel at ease, let their thoughts flow in the glow of candlelight, and have time to reflect on themselves while forgetting about their complicated everyday life in a rapidly changing society. So although times may change, as long as the hearts and minds of the people remain the same, Otaru Snow Light Path will continue for many years to come.