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February 09, 2017

SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL: Winter Wonderland in Hokkaido! (First Timer's Guide)

February 09, 2017

SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL: Winter Wonderland in Hokkaido! (First Timer's Guide)





by Abigail Javellana

Sapporo Snow Festival

February is the coolest month in Hokkaido, yet millions of people here step out of their homes and hotels to brave the cold temperatures outside with one destination in mind--the Sapporo Snow Festival, a winter dreamland made from crystal-like ice and white snow.

Held in early February, the festival is one of Japan's largest winter events, attracting visitors from all over Japan and around the world. About two million people come to Sapporo to see the numerous snow and ice sculptures lining the grounds of Odori Park, Community Dome Tsudome, and Susukino Street.

Here's a first-timer's guide to the Sapporo Snow Festival...

68th Sapporo Snow Festival
February 6 -12, 2017 
Odori Park, 1-12 Chome, Sapporo Hokkaido, Japan
Website: http://www.snowfes.com/





The festival is held in 3 sites: Odori Park, Susukino Site (Feb. 6-12), Tsudome Site (Feb. 1-12). But the Biggest one is in Odori Park.

Sapporo Snow Festival

Located in the middle of Sapporo, Odori Park plays host to the magical winter spectacle every year.

Getting to the park is really easy--you can either take the subway, a bus, a taxi, or even walk. We got there after just a 10-minute stroll from our hotel (ANA Hotel Sapporo). You'll know you've arrived when you see the Sapporo TV Tower.

Map

Odori Park is reachable via three subway lines--Manbuku Line, Tozai Line, and Toho Line. From Sapporo Station, the park is only a 10-minute walk through the underground walkway.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

Hundreds of snow sculptures stand in all their splendor along the 1.5km park in downtown Sapporo. The ice and snow art come in all shapes and sizes, mostly made and carved by the local citizens.

The most stunning ones are the gigantic, state-of-the-art snow and ice sculptures by the Japan Self-Defense Force, which are the biggest attractions of the Sapporo Snow Festival.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

Historic buildings come to life as visitors watch the light mapping display on the large snow reproduction of the Central Grand Hall of Kofukuji Temple in Nara.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

The 13-meter high and 22-meter wide sculpture was molded with 3,000 tons of snow using the "ice block method" wherein basic shapes were first constructed separately before being bonded together to replicate the original details of the building.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

It took 3,800 people from the Self-Defense Force over the course of 31 days to finish the large snow sculpture.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

The HBC square is a place for strengthening international friendships and understanding. This year, their large sculpture is the Arc de Triomphe, the monument that towers over Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

It stands 49.8 meters high and 44.8 meters wide and is lit up every night in the color of France's flag!

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

Taipei Guest House was designed by Japanese architects. This two-storey white building imbued with an aura of solidity has a roof in Mansard style, a pediment in Greek style, and high Roman pillars decorated with splendid Baroque-style reliefs.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

Final Fantasy fans will love the state-of-the-art high-resolution audio 7.1 ch surround sound system that will treat them to a breathtaking story of rebirth and creation.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

Anime characters stand side by side.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

The horse represents the hope of one day having a breed from Hokkaido join the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, one of the world's premier horse races.

The sculptures are very detailed, you can even see the sweat dripping from the rider. :)

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

Oops, just found out we were on the wrong side of the ice bricke wall.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

It was fun walking up Chrome 9 to 12 of Odori Park and seeing popular characters such as Pikachu, Donald Trump, and even the Pen Pineapple Apple Pen dude.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

Too bad I couldn't publish the other photos for copyright reasons. They were awesome. :(

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

A festival wouldn't be complete without food! Warm up with a steaming bowl of hot noodles, takoyaki, or a glass of Sapporo Classic Beer.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

You must try Hokkaido's seafood! :)
 

Sapporo Snow Festival

There winter fun also includes an ice skating rink, snowboard ramp, and snow slide.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

Snowboarders and freestyle skiers can take the powerful and exciting 24-meter high jump at Shiroi Kobito Park Air Jump.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival

We loved the Sapporo Snow Festival! The festival has come a long way since it first started in 1950, when six college students decided to build snow sculptures in Odori Park. Who knew that their idea would turn into a global event?

The snow and ice sculptures were amazing! But what I really loved were the massive structures built by the self-defense force. Those took my breath away!

What to bring:
1. You should wear at least three layers of clothes to keep you warm (thermal underwear, a sweater, and a thick overcoat or a proper winter garment). A knitted hat or ear warmers and gloves are also recommended.
2. I strongly suggest good shoes. The roads are very slippery.
3. Camera!
4. Money for food. The food stalls are a little more pricey than the usual.
5. A good time!

 

68th Sapporo Snow Festival
February 6 -12, 2017 
Odori Park, 1-12 Chome, Sapporo Hokkaido, Japan
Website: http://www.snowfes.com/

 

Live an Awesome Life,

abi signature

Abi of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our experience was courtesy of the Sapporo City government. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. The best time to visit the festival is the day before it starts to avoid the huge flock of visitors. Best to go during the morning, noon, and night. I found the afternoon gives you bad photographs because it's against the light.

Though there won't be any program yet, you'll see the lights for the massive snow sculptures being lit up and tested at night. Thankfully the food stalls were already open. :)

Learn more: www.welcome.city.sapporo.jp/

フィリピン向けロゴA-1

 

 




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