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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!