And Sapporo certainly knows how to put on a Snow Festival!
Way up in the north of Japan about 60 odd years ago, a few bored students thought they’d kill some time sculpting snow. It was a huge hit and fast forward to today, it’s one of Japan’s biggest festivals, attracting millions of visitors a year.
For a week each year in early February, Sapporo turns into a winter playground as Odori Park in the centre of the city is crammed with snow sculptures, locals, tourists, food outlets and dogs.
A visit to the Festival isn’t just about seeing what fantastical shapes and edifices have been miraculously coaxed out of a heap of snow,
the people watching is fantastic,
as is a tour through the food huts,
and spotting the dogs with nappies is a bonus.
For a great overview of the site and the beautiful mountains surrounding the city, head up the tower at the head of the park.
A second site at Tsudome is where you can whizz down snow slides and the Susukino site holds all the ice carvings.
Be prepared for crowds of tourists all trying to cram in front of your photo
so if you can stay awake, it’s worthwhile going back later at night after all the families have gone to bed.
I would thoroughly recommend a trip out to the Sapporo Beer Garden to kill some time where you can grill your meat at the table and buy a never ending stein of Japan’s finest. The setting is also pretty spectacular.
Wiwi’s top tip:
This is the north of Japan in winter, so come prepared for snowy and icy conditions
and a pair of strap-on ice grips for your shoes is an absolute genius idea and must have saved my bottom at least a dozen times. These are sold all throughout the city in convenience stores and are an inexpensive way to walk a tad more confidently.
Amazing virtual tour! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Bye. Kamila
Thanks so much Kamila!
Great blog as always Wiwi but now I have that song in my head! Lucky the photos are a great compensation. More blogs please!
Thanks Pet! Yes I’ve been a bit slack on the blog front, will attempt to get my act together this year!
What an adventure. I would love to go there.
It was great to see, next time I’d like more time to explore beyond Sapporo!