Yuki Hatago Akari Festival
Shizu’s history — made of snow
The Yuki Hatago Akari Festival takes place from late February to early March in Gassan-Shizu. The event, whose name means "snow lodge light up," is a great opportunity to experience this quaint onsen town, set against the beauty of Mt. Gassan. There are several superb ryokan in the area, as well as local produce to taste such as rice, soba and sake.
During the annual Yuki Hatago Akari Festval, the hamlet’s residents set about recreating how the town used to look by sculpting a lane of historical buildings out of snow that visitors can explore. The temporary snow structures are most impressive at night when illuminated by candlelight. Some of these constructions are even big enough to enter. The ice bar is a particularly popular attraction during the festival. It is a bar built out of ice and snow, and you can enjoy drinks while sat at tables and chairs made from ice.
How to get there
The nearest shinkansen stop is Yamagata Station. Your hotel may provide a shuttle bus service, so it is best to check and arrange this in advance. Alternatively, you can go by bus from Yamagata to nearby Nishikawa and take a taxi from there.
Held in late February and early March.
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