Japan - Sapporo Snow Festival

10 March 2014

I found out about the Sapporo Snow Festival from a Japanese exchange student whom I met while I was in college. Ever since that day, I vowed to witness the beauty of the festival with my own eyes!

The Sapporo Snow Festival, also known as Sapporo Yuki Matsuri, is an annual festival that celebrates all things snow and ice such as giant snow sculptures, intricate statues, snow slides and even rafting rides – rings any bells, “Frozen” lovers? The sculptures depict everything from entire historical scenes and famous celebrities to Hello Kitty and other pop icons. In addition to the hundreds of ice and snow sculptures, visitors can also enjoy music concerts, dancing, karaoke, food, and more.

With suitcases full of thermals, my friends and I boarded the plane and we were finally making our way to Sapporo. Upon arrival, we quickly made our way to the hotel to deposit our luggage.

Our first stop was actually the Odori Park, which is the main site of the festival. Most of the event's sculptures were exhibited there, including the largest ones. Odori Park is illuminated until 10 pm every day and the best view is from the top of the Sapporo TV Tower on the east side of the park (700 yen). Over at this park, you will also be able to see sculptures created to celebrate the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

Afterwards, we made our way to the Susukino Site, which has the second highest number of sculptures at the festival and it is illuminated until midnight. The first ice sculpture that we saw when we were there was this huge “fish tank” filled with frozen fishes. While it may seem rather cruel, it just seems like a really interesting idea for an ice sculpture – don’t you think so too? Just one subway stop away from Odori Park, Susukino is also Sapporo's biggest entertainment section.

Last but not least, we decided to make a move to the Tsudomu Site. Once we arrived, we were completely blown away when we saw so many different activities that can be done there. There were snow slides, snow mazes, and other activities like that – a place that I would definitely recommend to those travelling with kids! As my friends and I felt rather “old” amongst the pool of children there, we decided to explore the place for food instead.

As these 3 sites were all accessible by subway, and there were volunteers to guide us to the different areas, my friends and I had no trouble navigating around. In overall, our time at the Sapporo Snow Festival was well spent and the entire trip to Sapporo was absolutely fun and memorable. My friends and I fell in love with the place not only because of this festival, but also because of the amazing sights, delicious food and friendly people. We would definitely love to come back annually to see how the Sapporo Snow Festival evolves!

If you are keen to visit Sapporo during the Snow Festival period, feel free to contact the travel experts at Flight Centre (6692 9778) for advice on the best airfare deals and holiday packages available for your trip there.

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