The 1st Hokuryu-cho Ice Candle Lighting (Sunflower Park Hokuryu Onsen) planned and managed by Mr. Nobuyuki Murakami, a member of the Regional Development Cooperation Team

Friday, February 11, 2022

On February 9 (Wed.), ice candles, snow candles, and icicle art were lit up in front of Sunflower Park Hokuryu Onsen.

Ice Candle Lighting @ Sunflower Park Hokuryu Onsen

Ice Candle Lighting @ Sunflower Park Hokuryu Onsen
Right: Mr. Nobuyuki Murakami, a member of the Regional Development Cooperation Volunteers, and Mr. Isao Hiraba, a helper Left: Mr. Osamu Komatsu and Mrs. Yumi Komatsu

Approximately 70 ice candles, 6 snow candles, and 1 icicle artwork with a red candle in the center are arranged and lit for about 2 hours until the candles are extinguished.

Soft ice candle light

Planning and Management: Mr. Nobuyuki Murakami, Hokuryu-cho Regional Development Cooperation Volunteer

Mr. Nobuyuki Murakami, a member of the Hokuryu-cho Regional Development Cooperation Volunteers, organized the event. We interviewed him.

Mr. Nobuyuki Murakami, a member of the Hokuryu Town Community Development Cooperation Team

For this year's ice candles, we prepared for a week in advance and made 6 to 7 candles per day, for a total of about 70 candles.

Ice Candle Making

Fill the bucket with water and freeze overnight, and it will freeze about 3 cm thick along the perimeter of the bucket. Turn the bucket upside down, pull the ice out of the bucket, turn it over, and make a hole in the bottom to complete the process.

At the time of lighting, we set up a plastic bottle cut for wind protection and lit the candle.

Ice candles made with buckets

Snow Candle Making

Snow candles are made by filling a bucket with snow, placing a square of snow in the center, and pressing snow around it.

making icicles

The icicles were made from large icicles hanging from the roof of the boiler room at Sunflower Park Hokuryu Onsen.

Ice Pillar Art with Flickering Lights

Thanks to the townspeople for providing and helping

Candles and plastic bottles: Donated by Hokoji Temple, Zenrinji Temple, and Seicomart

We asked two temples in Hokuryu-cho, Hoko-ji Temple and Zenrin-ji Temple, to donate the candles, and they graciously did. Seicomart donated many plastic bottles!

Red candles provided by the temple

Helping & assisting Mr. & Mrs. Osamu & Yumi Komatsu

Mr. and Mrs. Osamu and Yumi Komatsu brought the jeans and helped with today's lighting two hours before the event began.

Mr. and Mrs. Komatsu for their assistance
Mr. Osamu Komatsu lighting up

Assistance by Isao Hiraba

Isao Haniba, director of NPO Bright Farming, also assisted!

Isao Hiraiba lighting up

frozen jeans

Jeans are dehydrated for about 2 minutes and then frozen overnight at a temperature of -15°C from a freshly dried state. This time, however, they did not freeze because the outdoor temperature did not reach the low temperature. So we used the freezer (-30°C) at Sunflower Park Hokuryu Hot Springs, and they froze in about an hour and a half.

frozen jeans

I am very glad that the townspeople cooperated with us in various aspects. This project was implemented based on our previous experience with events in Teshio Town.

Bright and cheerful by candlelight!

Since there have been so many dark stories about Corona lately, I wanted to do this in the hope of lighting a light and bringing cheer to the town of Hokuryu.

This year we will hold the event today and tomorrow (Feb. 9 and Feb. 10) as a test trial. If we have enough candles left in stock, we are also planning to hold this event for two to three additional days in the coming week.

Starting next year, we would like to designate a Candle Day and ask for the cooperation of the town's residents in candle production. For example, we would like to light ice candles in front of the entrance of each household to brighten up the entire town," says Murakami enthusiastically.

Wishing the town a bright and cheerful future!

Comments from town residents

Some of the residents who saw the candles on their way to and from Hokuryu Hot Springs said, "It's wonderful. I've been to snow festivals before, but this is the first time I've actually seen ice candles in the town. It warms my heart.

It's beautiful!
It's so relaxing.

The soft light from the transparent ice shimmers and warmly envelops the hearts of those who see it.

Invisible man is also healed.
We give thanks for the gentle flickering of the soothing ice candles!

More Photos

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◇ Photography and Editing: Noboru Terauchi Reporting and Writing: Ikuko Terauchi