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Travel & Leisure

Hokkaido tourism picks up ahead of snow festival opening

South Korean guests at Sapporo hotels triple from pre-pandemic levels

In 2015, the Sapporo Snow Festival featured a two-thirds scale snow sculpture of Manila Cathedral. (Photo by Takashi Koyama)

SAPPORO, Japan -- Visits to Japan's northernmost main island, Hokkaido, by overseas travelers are showing signs of recovery ahead of the opening of the Sapporo Snow Festival on Saturday, driven by a sharp rise in arrivals from South Korea.

The number of inbound tourists staying at hotels and Japanese-style inns is nearing levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

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