One of the planet’s greatest snow spectacles is the Sapporo Snow Festival, which takes place in Sapporo, Hokkaido, japan. This wintertime extravaganza draws millions of visitors every year who come to experience the Hokkaido hospitality, indulge in great food and drink, and witness stunning illuminations. The festival began in 1950 when a few students fashioned several snow sculptures in Odori Park, using Sapporo’s abundant natural resources and their imaginations. Since then, it has grown into a grand celebration of snow and ice artistry.
The Sapporo Snow Festival is known for its breathtaking scale and numbers. Expect to see five large sculptures and a host of smaller ones in Odori Park. Towards the far west end of the park, international snow-sculpting teams from about 20 different nations compete in the festival each year. The festival also features around 400 snow and ice statues, showcasing the incredible talent and creativity of the sculptors.
The festival itself runs for a week in early February, but the sculpting process begins up to a month beforehand. Witnessing the sculptors at work is almost as magical as the final result. The artists meticulously carve and shape the snow and ice, transforming them into intricate and impressive sculptures. It is a testament to their skill and dedication.
One of the highlights of the Sapporo Snow Festival is the projection mapping shows. As night falls, the building-sized sculptures come to life with stunning light shows projected onto them. These shows run for approximately five to ten minutes each and provide a mesmerizing visual experience. Large trees throughout the park are also decorated, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Aside from the snow sculptures, the festival offers a variety of other activities and attractions. Visitors can take some thrilling runs down the big snow slides, ride a snow raft, or engage in an epic snowball fight at Tsudome. There is also an ice bar at the Susukino venue, where visitors can enjoy a warm beverage and participate in the ice sculpture contest. The festival truly offers something for everyone, whether you prefer to be active or simply admire the artistry.
To reach Odori Park, the primary venue of the festival, there are various transportation options available. Visitors can easily travel on foot, by taxi, or by subway from most places within the city. Odori Park is a 15-minute underground walk south from Sapporo Station, or a two-minute subway ride. Catching either the Nanboku or Toho subway lines and going one stop to Odori Park Station will take you directly to the festival grounds.
The Sapporo Snow Festival has become an iconic event, attracting visitors from all over the world. It showcases the beauty and creativity that can be achieved with snow and ice. The festival not only provides entertainment and joy to its attendees but also serves as a platform for cultural exchange. The international snow-sculpting teams bring their unique perspectives and artistic styles, creating a diverse and captivating display of talent.
In addition to the snow sculptures, the festival offers a wide selection of food and drinks. Visitors can sample local produce, seafood, and meats from all around Hokkaido. The festival also features famous dishes from restaurants, allowing visitors to indulge in Hokkaido’s culinary delights. Hot mulled wine is a popular beverage choice, and there are tents and rooms available near the food stalls where visitors can warm up and enjoy their meals.
The Sapporo Snow Festival is not just a visual delight; it is also an opportunity to take part of the festival home with you. There are plenty of souvenirs, toys, t-shirts, knick-knacks, and postcards available for purchase. These items serve as mementos of the festival and allow visitors to cherish their memories for years to come.
As with any event, it is important to stay updated on any changes or restrictions that may be in place. The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19 or other factors. It is recommended to check the official website of the Sapporo Snow Festival or consult local authorities for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.
In conclusion, the Sapporo Snow Festival is a remarkable celebration of snow and ice artistry. With its grand snow sculptures, stunning illuminations, and vibrant atmosphere, it is truly one of the planet’s greatest snow spectacles. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a food lover, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of winter, the Sapporo Snow Festival offers an unforgettable experience. Plan your visit to Sapporo and immerse yourself in this winter wonderland.
Address And Maps Location:
7 Chome, Odorinishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido