Trip in Sapporo for the Snow Festival
Tour to Sapporo to visit Sapporo Snow Festival, an open-space festival hold every year in the middle of the winter, where world's most famous ice sculptors create ice and snow sculptures as big as palaces. This festival is possible thanks to the record snowfalls on Hokkaido island in northern Japan, one of the most snowiest place in the world.
Pictures of Sapporo.
Sapporo is the main city and capital of Hokkaido island in northern Japan and is home to nearly two million people. The city is known mainly because hosts the famous winter Snow Festival, an event dedicated to ice and snow sculptures, which takes place every year around the first week of February.
As for most of Hokkaido island, Sapporo receives heavy winter snowfalls
, which can produce an accumulation of snow up to six meters high. The abundance of snow allows professional sculptors who come from all around the world, to engage in the construction of snow and ice sculptures, often as big as palaces.
The Snow Festival in Japan
takes place in various parts of Sapporo city, although the main events are hold at Odori Park
, a wide avenue a couple of kilometers long where, generally during the first week of February, these huge snow sculptures are built.
The festival of snow sculptures in Sapporo
(Sapporo Snow Festival) attracts also singers and other artists who perform under the ice sculptures.
The ice sculptures at Sapporo Snow Festival
are spectacular both day and night, therefore, at least a full day (with an overnight in Sapporo) should be dedicated to visit this event. The festival attracts lot of visitors from Japan and other countries, so reserving hotel room and other services well in advance, is a good idea.
Some tourists are photographed with snow sculptures as background.
Photos of Sapporo Snow Festival.
The ice sculptures are not only impressive in size, in fact, a section of Odori park is dedicated to snowmen and smaller sculptures.
A real work of art, made with bricks of transparent ice, then lit by lamps that change color to the beat of music.
These photos show more detail of the sculptures built with transparent ice bricks
, rather than with simple compressed snow. The effect that is obtained by illuminating them from the inside with colored lamps, is particularly spectacular.
An exhibition of singers in front of a sculpture made by bricks of ice.
Picture of a huge palace
made with tons of compressed snow. The design of the facade is really impressive.
An ice sculptor
During the night, even the smaller snow sculptures are illuminated with white light lamps.
The ice face.
A huge statue of compressed snow
dedicated to Star Wars, photographed both day and night.
Photos of Sapporo Snow Festival
. Images of a building made with transparent ice bricks, where some children are entertained with various games.
During the Snow Festival in Sapporo
, visitors can try ice skating over a large rink.
Photos showing the details of the facades of the buildings made with compressed snow, during Sapporo Snow Festival 2015 in Japan
. The festival lasts usually only one week, after which the statues are quickly demolished for safety reasons.
Photo of a transparent ice sculpture representing an eagle.
The ice bricks are particularly nice, as they are made from very compact ice which becomes transparent. In these photos, ice bricks were used to build a shelter used as a smoking area.
During Sapporo Snow Festival 2015
, Odori Park also hosted a large trampoline for acrobatics on skis and snowboard.
About 20 minutes by bus from Odori Park in Sapporo,which hosts the main part of Snow Festival, there is the Community Dome
, another area set up with ice sculptures and entertainment for adults or children.
Among the various attractions at Community Dome in Sapporo, there is an ice maze (pictured above) and slides (pictured below).
A large snow structure allows to throw down with an inner tube, although the queue to access it may be a bit long.
Another area of Sapporo which hosts numerous ice sculptures during the Snow Festival, is Susukino
district, a place within walking distance from Odori Park. Here there are numerous works of art, made mainly of transparent compressed ice.
Photos of ice sculptures in Sapporo.
An ice sculpture sponsored by a famous sushi restaurant in Sapporo.
An excursion rather popular in Sapporo is the climb on top of Sapporo TV Tower
, from where you can get a panoramic view of the entire city and of the snow sculptures housed in Odori Park
. The descent from the observation deck can be made on foot using an external staircase (photo below left).
The Odori Park in Sapporo
with a top view of ice sculptures, photographed from the observation deck on the TV Tower during the Snow Festival 2015.
Although the main reason for the tour in Sapporo was the Snow Festival, I make a brief visit to the interesting Beer Museum
, where vintage bottles and posters, some more than a century old, are collected and displayed together with numerous items related to the production and the consumption of beer. The Sapporo Beer Museum
is housed in the old beer factories and allows also to sample various brands of beer.
In Sapporo I visit also the local fish market, where visitors can also find some excellent salmon caviar (bottom left photo).