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The Sapporo Snow Festival - Explore Japan!

Updated on May 26, 2012
All ice! - an Ice Sculpture at the Sapporo Snow Festival (2009)
All ice! - an Ice Sculpture at the Sapporo Snow Festival (2009) | Source
Odori Park during the Snow Festival
Odori Park during the Snow Festival | Source
Sapporo at night!
Sapporo at night! | Source
Odori Park in the Summer
Odori Park in the Summer | Source

How The Great Snow Festival Started

The Japanese 'Sapporo Snow Festival' is just one more reason to visit Japan in your lifetime!

It is a beautiful festival that takes place in Sapporo, the capital of the most northern region of Japan: Hokkaido (北海道). This very special festival first came about in 1950 when 6 high school students decided to make 6 snow sculptures in Odori Park. After that, building snow sculptures in Odori Park became a tradition in the area and by 1955, even the local army base 真駒内 (makomanai) became interested in the event, deciding to create its own much larger snow sculptures.

Sapporo Today

Today the Sapporo Snow Festival is still very much alive and kicking - in fact (according to the official website) it is actually more popular than ever! Over 2 million people flock to see the wonderful sites every year.

Facts:

  • The event still takes place where it first began: Odori Park (in a place called 'Odori Site') but has now spread to "Susukino Site' and 'Tsu Dome Site' in order to accommodate more activities.
  • The snow festival occurs annually and usually takes place at the beginning of February, lasting for around 7 days.
  • The 2012 Snow Festival began on the 6th of February and lasted until the 12th.
  • The 2013 Snow Festival is going to take place from the 5th until the 11th of February.
  • An exact total of 400 ice sculptures is always seen during the festival!
  • The Sapporo TV Tower opens itself to visitors for their use during the festival and acts as the perfect place to view the beautiful sites.

A Snow Slide in the Snow Festival!
A Snow Slide in the Snow Festival! | Source
One of the fantastic Ice Sculptures at the Sapporo Festival
One of the fantastic Ice Sculptures at the Sapporo Festival | Source
Another spectacular massive snow sculpture at Sapporo.
Another spectacular massive snow sculpture at Sapporo. | Source
Intense Snowboarding during the Snow Festival.
Intense Snowboarding during the Snow Festival. | Source

So What Can You Do There?

  1. Without a doubt the main attraction is the spectacular display of snow and ice sculptures at the three main sites of the festival. The sculptures vary, but some can even measure "25 meters wide and 15 meters high". These sculptures are lit up using special lights every day until 22:00 or 00:00, making the sculptures even more aesthetic.
    An annual international snow sculpture competition is held at the Odori Site each year meaning that the quality of the snow sculptures is consistently unbelievably high.
  2. Snow stages are also built and various concerts (musical, dance etc.) are performed upon them, creating an ambient buzz to accompany the bustling excitement of the event. In fact, many concerts are held on the giant snow sculptures themselves!
  3. At the Tsu Dome Site, family fun is stressed and long slides for rafting down are created to offer children the chance to fully enjoy the snow. There is also a large maze crafted out of snow so you can test your dusty orientational skills out too!
  4. As well as pleasing your taste and visual senses, Hokkaido also offers its best local foods to the public at the event. A variety of unique seafood, dairy, and vegetable products can be purchased.
  5. Lastly, what good would a snow themed festival be without some snow themed sports?

Lucky Footage of the Incredible 2012 Taj Mahal Ice Sculpture Featuring a Dance Show!

A Tube Map of the Area - The 3 Main Sites

A Tube Map showing the three main sites you will want to visit (Odori Site, Tsu Dome Site, Susukino Site)
A Tube Map showing the three main sites you will want to visit (Odori Site, Tsu Dome Site, Susukino Site) | Source

Would you like to see the Sapporo Snow Festival one day?

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One last one - Dinosaur Ice Scultpures!
One last one - Dinosaur Ice Scultpures! | Source

Did you learn?

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Comments

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    • Philanthropy2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      DK 

      6 years ago from London

      Thank you very much Helen! The sculptures really are something else!

    • profile image

      oceansider 

      6 years ago

      Hi Philanthropy2012, I think this article about the Snow Festival in Japan is really interesting...the ice sculptures are amazing! Thanks for sharing this!

      Voted up & interesting.

      Thanks,

      Helen

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