Thousands and thousands of people come from all over the world each year to visit the Sapporo Snow Festival. We've had a chance to check out the Odori Park venue of the Festival, and it was truly impressive. I would venture to say that this year has been the best one yet out of the many I've been to.
The snow sculptures, the food, the weather, the events- all excellent!
Recent years of the snow festival have been hampered by warm temperatures. Getting as warm as 3 or 4 degrees, accompanied by rain and sleet, the structures, especially the smaller, volunteer-made ones, weren't having a good time. This year has been different so far, though we're expecting a few hours of positive temps this afternroon. The particular day we were able to go was adorned with beautiful blue skies.
Boasting a number of massive multi-storey snow sculptures, as well as a new 3D projecting called "projection mapping", the art dropped my jaw on more than one occasion!
The above structure was truly spine-tingling, truly massive. Up until now I haven't seen many structures that make such good use of depth as well as height. Based on the famous anime and movie "Attack on Titan", or "Shingeki no Kyojin", this structure depicts the battle between the main character and the 60-meter-tall giant who attacks and devours cities. The detail and scale were shocking!
As part of the general trend I've noticed at major festivals around the country, it seems the food quality has also been improving. More international foods, as well as a greater variety of Japanese foods adorned each block. We found a stall selling Kyushu-specific food, and picked up a few of these hashi-maki sticks. Basically Okonomiyaki on a pair of chopsticks. Delightful!
The section of smaller snow sculptures was also more impressive than in previous years, with a number of surprisingly bold characters. Many of the sculptures appeared to be built around a theme of valuing the environment, while some of them centered on folklore characters, like this monkey-god dude.
We may have another chance to go during the night portion of the festival later on this week, which will allow us a chance to view the projection-mapping at it's finest!
Surprisingly, there were also a number of FREE WIFI booths around the park, which was neat. I'm not sure if you have to buy something to get inside or not, but we didn't have to worry about it because we were online the entire time with our snappy and secure PlatinumPlus WifiBuddy! :)