Hokkaido 115 – Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri)

Sapporo Snow Festival

The Most Popular Snow Festival in Japan – Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo Snow Festival is an annual 7 days festival in Sapporo city, Japan in February celebrating the winter since 1950. I was delighted to have witnessed this beautiful event when I was in Sapporo last year. The main festival site is always at 1.5km long Odori Park near the Sapporo TV Tower, with other smaller sites at Susukino and Tsu Dome. The festival’s famous large ice and snow sculptures, some measuring more than 25 meters wide and 15 meters high, are exhibited there and lit up daily from sunset until 10pm throughout the festival period. It is attracting over 2 million visitors and 12 international teams who come to participate in its famous ice sculpture contest every year.

Apart from the 300-400 ice and snow statues spread all over the festival sites, the other main draw of Sapporo Snow Festival is the abundance of Japanese street food stalls. This festival is the perfect avenue to showcase and highlight the best regional food and drinks from Hokkaido. Big Teddy went crazy with all the street food and we ended up spending quite a bit of Japanese Yen there filling our stomach instead of going for dinner in a restaurant. I loved all the fresh grilled seafood from scallops, crabs, fish and squid, as well as local beef dishes, coupled with the Suntory Malt Beer and mulled wine. The 1.5km long park is quite a distance walk from one end to the other, where we stopped and admired the different snow sculptures as well as battling all the food temptations along the stretch. We spent a good 2 hours there and took a taxi home because we were exhausted after being out in the cold for so long. Still, it was a perfect night out with not just sensations of sights and sounds, but tastes and senses too. Have you been to any ice and snow festivals?

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Top Tips to Enjoy Sapporo Snow Festival:

  1. Bring enough cash for all the street food stalls
  2. Wear shoes with decent grip as the site is slippery with ice
  3. Avoid going on the weekends, especially the last weekend of the festival. Weekdays are usually with a lesser crowd and easier to manoeuvre.
  4. Getting around is easy with the vast network of subterranean tunnels away from the ice and snow. However, I did walk from Hotel Monterey Sapporo to the Odori Park along the main road on icy roads and the journey turned out fine.

Have you been to any ice and snow festivals?

Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri)
The Sapporo TV Tower
Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri)
The ice sculptures
Sapporo Snow Festival
Samurai looking sculpture
Sapporo Snow Festival
The Hokkaido Shinkansen
Sapporo Snow Festival
Slides anyone?
Sapporo Snow Festival
So much details!
Sapporo Snow Festival
Wefie time in front of the snow sculpture
Sapporo Snow Festival
So colourful isn’t it?
Sapporo Snow Festival
More giant snow sculptures
Sapporo Snow Festival
Macau’s iconic Ruins of St Paul’s
Sapporo Snow Festival
Some cute ones
Sapporo Snow Festival
Dragon Ball anyone?
Hokkaido crab legs
Look at those fresh crab legs
Suntory Malt Beer
Suntory Malt Beer
Giant scallops
Giant scallops!
scallops
I love their scallops
All about the beef
Beef skewers
Local nuts

Sapporo Snow Festival

Official Website: http://www.snowfes.com/english/

Do follow my adventures on Facebook here and Instagram here.
Check out my full Hokkaido trip itinerary here.
Check out my other posts on Sapporo here.

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5 comments

  1. I have never been to Japan, but am planning on visiting one day. I absolutely love your pictures and how creative this snow festival is! Thank you for sharing your tips and experiences.

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