Hokkaido’s snow sculpture festivals

31 Jan 2018 in Have Fun

Wrap up warm and head to Hokkaido for epic snow sculptures, 100-metre snow slides and sub-zero concerts!

snow-star-wars

Every February, Hokkaido’s snowy winters are a chance for celebration! Japan’s northern island hosts several snow sculpture festivals – with the biggest and best-known the Sapporo Snow Festival (Feb 5-12, 2018).

February snow festival

Some 30,000 tons of snow are used to create around 200 sculptures in Sapporo – many of them monumental in size. Transporting and sculpting the snow is a major operation, with bulldozers, cranes and the Self-Defence Force (Japan’s military) enlisted to help out.

Ice festivals in Japan

The festival is spread over 3 sites.

At Tsu Dome, it’s all about family fun, with sculptures sitting alongside snow slides, snow rafting and a snow maze.

The main attraction, though, is Odori Park, a mile-long collection of snow and ice sculptures of all sizes, including those vying to win the International Snow Sculpture Contest. In the recent past, creations have included a giant bust of Donald Trump, a 60-foot high replica of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe and a host of oversized manga characters.

Biggest snow sculpture in the world

At night, the sculptures are lit up in spectacular fashion.

Further north, the Asahikawa Winter Festival (Feb 7-12, 2018) hosts its own impressive snow sculptures, including one monumental central creation – which once earned it a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest snow sculpture.

Kids will love the 100-metre snow slides.

longuest snow slide in the world

Finally, on the north-east coast, the Abashiri Okhotsk Drift Ice Festival (Feb 10-12, 2018) features multiple snow sculptures, plus the chance to skidoo on a frozen lake!

Abashiri Okhotsk Drift Ice Festival

Looking for a base to explore Hokkaido’s snow festivals? Book yourself into Hoshino Resorts Tomamu – and don’t forget to bring your skiing gear!

hotel room made of ice


Photo credits:

かがみ~ / CC BY-NC-ND
sjrankin / CC BY-NC
David McKelvey / CC BY-NC-ND
OURAWESOMEPLANET: PHILS #1 FOOD AND TRAVEL BLOG / CC BY-NC-SA
かがみ~ / CC BY-NC-ND
喫遊趣 / CC BY-NC-ND

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