In preparation for winter, the Sapporo City Transportation bureau in Chuo Ward this month began getting ready to launch the snow-clearing "Sasara Tram".

The tram rotates "sasara" bamboo brushes attached to the front and back of the vehicle to clear snow from the city's streetcar tracks. About 200 finely split bamboo sticks are made into one bundle, and 400 bundles are attached to the rotating shaft.

Four workers at the bureau attached sasara to the shaft before rotating it to confirm it was functioning properly. A broom-like sasara was then added to the black and yellow-striped body of the tram and preparations were completed in about an hour.

The Sasara Tram, an iconic winter feature in the city, normally operates from mid-November to early December.

The Hokkaido Shimbun Press

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