Every February, thousands of tourists from all over the world descend on Sapporo's Odori Park for a week of enjoying dozens of awe-inspiring world-class ice sculptures.
(A zoo put together this stunningly detailed scene of various members of the animal kingdom!)
Made up of various sites, the Snow Festival (or Yuki Matsuri in Japanese) has something for everyone. From a snow maze, to meandering slides, to jaw-dropping ice sculptures, to extreme snowboarding jump competitions. I've been numerous times and I always find it to be fun (as long as it's not blizzarding! But blizzard make the ama-zake even more delicious!)
(As usual, Mickey and Minnie made their appearances as well!)
Most ice sculptures usually start out being assembled by the Self-Defense Force. A mountain of snow is first compacted, then scaffolding is assembled around it. From there, the artists get to work on carving out the more intricate details. It really is a sight to behold, so if you're planning to be in Sapporo for a while, it might be worth it to get here a few days early!
(A mansion-sized...mansion. Made of ice! Shiny, colourful, bright, ice.)
Another interesting thing to see is that Sapporo's various sister-cities from all over the world often contribute a sculpture of their own to promote tourism. I think this particular shot below was done by Sapporo's sister city in Korea.
Odori Park is Sapporo's central park, which is about 10 blocks from east-to-west, and a block wide, in the center of the city. With Susukino, the entertainment area on the south, and Sapporo Station a few blocks north, there's loads of shopping and fooding to experience as well.
The Snow Festival's main area is in Odori Park, but the other venues aren't so close by. Don't get lost trying to get where you're going! And don't lose out on sharing this amazing experience with family and friends over the internet! Book your WifiBuddy pocket wifi early to make sure you can get your hands on one to experience FREEDOM during your time in Japan!
Looking forward to seeing you at the Snow Festival! 2015's festival runs from February 5-11.