Japan's first hotel made of ice has opened in Tobetsu, a little town in Hokkaido. The hotel has three guest rooms, a bar and a variety of attractions.
The Ice Hills Hotel, designed by 61-year-old Hidenobu Nakaya, owner of a Sapporo-based design company, opened earlier this month and will operate until March 15, the Japan Times reported.
Tobetsu, which is in the Ishikari district near Sapporo, gets a lot of snow, much of it brought by strong winds blowing through gaps between mountains stretching near Ishikari Bay. The town has a reputation for being bitterly cold.
Planners are hoping the Ice Hills Hotel will help attract more tourists to the town.
Tobetsu's ice hotel was built mainly by craftsmen with experience building hotels in Sweden.
The ice hotel has three guest rooms with beds and tables for overnight stays. The hotel is illuminated by candles and LED lights to enhance its atmosphere.