I finally made it to Hokkaido for the Snow Festival! It only took 3 years!
The Snow Festival happens in Odori Park which runs in a big line down the middle of Sapporo city.
Lucky for us our hotel was really close to it, just a 3 minute walk to the ski jump. We were there for 4 nights, and could see a lot of the festival, we arrived on the 8th and stayed until the 11th – the last day. As time went on some of the sculptures deteriorated quite a lot and some were completely destroyed, so its best to go early on.
My photos are a mix of all the days we walked around the snow festival, and arent in date order.
The most famous snow sculpture this year was the Star Wars one.
The ship(?) to the left at the back there was actually destroyed on our first day, by the evening it was gone as you can tell by the picture below.
I really love this guy!
As you walked down Odori Park the snow sculptures and main pieces were punctuated by food shops and stands. It wasnt necessarily the usual festival food either – there were a lot of local stores, ramen stalls, corn, and potatoes. Also some companies doing promotions – such as Nissin, Coca Cola and Airbnb.
There were several covered maquee areas where you could sit and eat or rest your feet.
At the big items there were staff to take your picture, once with their camera and then once with yours, of course for a fee (1500yen ish) you can buy their picture.
Hmm…surprisingly we didnt buy the official one.
One of our favourite things to do at the snow festival was to watch the junior skiers and snow jumpers perform. Every day from 11-11pm.
The snow festival gets all lit up at night and some projections and performances also happen.
We watched this Alice In Wonderland theatre production one evening.
As well as Odori Park there is an ice sculpture area in Susukino.
A lot had been damaged by the bad weather, but this guy was busy making some more.
One of the English support festival volunteers pushed us into having a picture with these girls, they were the Miss.Snow Festival winners.
If you want to go in 2016 think about booking a hotel now as all the reasonably priced ones get taken right away, we booked our hotel about 10 months beforehand, but didnt buy our flights until about 6 weeks before.