“We had to keep repairing the statue so we struggled. It was difficult to attach parts because it was so warm,” he added.
The festival has been running for 70 years and is a major tourist magnet, drawing 2.7 million visitors last year.
Sunao Kinoshita, a 75-year-old who had traveled up from near Osaka, said he “had to see it once before I die”.
“Northern Japanese cities have been hosting snow festivals every year. It would be a shame if such events ended” due to global warming, he said.
A regular festival-goer from the region also laid the blame on global warming. “I was worried the climate was different this year,” Ayaka Muto, 31, told AFP.
“Usually we have more snow. I think it’s strange. I feel global warming is happening,” added Muto.