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Friday, July 22, 2011
Forecast for Yamagata summer festival calls for games and snow
By REIMI DASDEB
July is a time of sweltering heat, with the sun beating down on you wherever you go. But in Yamagata Prefecture, they're calling for snow.
On July 30, the Snow Egg Festival will take place at the Shirakawa Dam Kokishi Park in Iide, Yamagata Prefecture — with piles of snow pulled out of cold storage from the winter for everyone to enjoy.
The site will host a variety of events for people of all ages. From 2 p.m., the Snow Court will open and become the venue for activities such as sliding down snow-covered hills, playing volleyball on snow and curling. On top of those team games, there will also be the obligatory snowball fight.
At 4 p.m., visitors will also have the chance to smash open some watermelons and devour them in the snowy surroundings, an interesting change from the usual beach environment most people are used to in the summer. The games portion of the day will wind up with a treasure hunt in the snow in which visitors can win prizes.
After a special ceremony at 6 p.m., there will be musical acts including a saxophone quartet, an erhu (traditional Chinese instrument) performance and local students will perform a traditional Hokkaido dance called sōran. Capping off the day's events will be a colorful fireworks display to light up the night sky.
Snow Egg Festival takes place at Shirakawa Dam Kokishi Park in Iida, Yamagata Prefecture, on July 30. Take the JR Yonesaka Line to Tenoko Station. Then take a 20-minute taxi ride to Shirakawa Dam Kokishi Park. Admission is free. For details, call (0238) 77-2020 or visit lavo.jp/iikanjini/note?p=log&lid=241203.