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8 cold-weather cities worth braving in winter

Sapporo, Japan, Snow Festival

Photo: Chris & Kylie/Flickr

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Sapporo, Japan

Japan's winter wonderland sits on the northern island of Hokkaido. While Sapporo has much milder temperatures than China's Harbin, it has much more abundant snowfall and celebrates it with a major festival. The Sapporo Snow Festival lasts for only a week, usually in February, but it draws millions of visitors with snow sculptures, ice castles and wall-to-wall festivities.

Sapporo's underground malls and department stores as well as covered shopping arcades make it possible to spend a lot of time indoors, but the heated outdoor sidewalks and relatively mild temperatures mean you won't freeze if you venture outside.