Updated: January 22, 2018
0 Bookmark

Sapporo Snow Festival: The Mother Of All Winter Festivals In Japan!

The Sapporo Snow Festival is the hugest winter event in Japan! If you are seeking to experience some winter magic, it's the place to go in Japan in February. Here's more on this famous festival.

Feb 05, 2018(Mon) - Feb 12, 2018(Mon)
Feel free to follow favy!

Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo Snow Festival is known as "Sapporo Yuki Matsuri" by the Japanese. It is by far the biggest of its kind, and one of the most attended matsuri in Japan during any season.
Retina untitled design
An illuminated snow statue in Odori Park

History

It all started in 1950 when a small group of high school students built snow statues in Odori Park, located in the heart of Sapporo.
Retina pixta 28102800 s
Odori Park is an amazingly beautiful linear park. People enjoy it all year-round.
The event gathered steam from there and by 1955, the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) were getting involved in building the first massive snow sculptures! For the SDF, the event was used as a training drill. During years when there was insufficient snow to form the structures in the city, the SDF would bring some from elsewhere. By 1974, the International Snow Statue Competition was instigated and festival's popularity kept on growing. In recent years, as many as 2 million people attended the Yuki Matsuri.
Retina untitled design  2
This is the kind of massive statues that have been built in recent years. Do you recognize the Taj Mahal?

How to Enjoy the Festival

There are three sites to the festival. The main site is the Odori Park.

Odori Park

Retina pixta 20600569 s
The park is the site of many of the most impressive snow and ice sculptures. It is beautifully lit and very lively. The park stretches 1,5 km, so you'll have lots to see while you stroll up and down. On a side note, even if you go prior to the snow festival, you'll have the chance to see nice Christmas illuminations.
Retina pixta 657819 s
This is where the gigantic snow sculptures can be found. Some of them measure over 15 meters in height! They can be enjoyed during the day, but the best time to see them is from dusk until 10 PM. During that time, the sculptures are lit beautifully.
Retina untitled design  1    edited
There are also structures made of huge cubes of ice. These are illuminated as well. With the Sapporo TV Tower in the background, the sight is astounding.
You'll also see many smaller snow statues in the Odori Park.

Susukino Site

Retina pixta 4202450 s
Want to see unbelievably well-crafted ice statues? If so, the Susukino site is the place you have to go. This is where some of the world's most amazing pieces of ice art is being displayed! The venue is within a short walking distance of the Odori Park.

Tsu Dome Location

There is another location called the Tsu Dome which is less central than the other two. This place if more family-oriented. The main activity is sliding.

Food Everywhere!

It wouldn't be a Japanese matsuri without the delicious street food sold at the stalls scattered everywhere throughout the site.
Try whatever tickles your fancy. Hokkaido is known for its delicious food.
You can even have a drink in an ice mug! How awesome is that? Try the "kaku highball", a popular drink made from whiskey.

When is it Held?

The Sapporo Snow Festival is held every year in February for a period of about 7 days. Check out the official website for the dates this year!

2018 Edition

The 2018 edition of the Sapporo Snow Festival will be held on the Odori site and Susukino site from February 5 (Monday) to February 12 (Monday), and at the Tsudome site from February 1 (Thursday) to February 12 (Monday).

Where to Stay?

Retina pixta 12781805 s
Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido and it is also the fifth largest city in Japan. There are plenty of accommodations in the city from youth hostels to luxury hotels. However, be aware that the Snow Festival is so popular that people start booking their accommodation during the summer! If you wait until the last minute, it might be difficult to find a place to stay in Sapporo during the festival.

Lastly...

Hope you've enjoyed this article! There are so many reasons to visit Sapporo, and the snow festival is definitely one of them!
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

Hot Posts!

1

Torisoba Kotobuki - Ikebukuro, Tokyo : When Life Gives You Lemons, Make An Awesome Bowl Of Ramen!

haru
2

Love it or Hate it: How to Eat Natto!

Lili Wanderlust
3

3 Easy Cup Ramen Hacks! Here's How To Upgrade Your Cup Ramen From Blah To Bravo!

Lili Wanderlust
4

12 Must-Try Restaurants in Namba, Osaka

friendofpear
5

Mozuku: Okinawa's Unique Anti-Aging Seaweed! Japanese Doctors Always Recommend This Food!

tabikamome
More Hot Posts

Recommend Posts!

1

"Sushi Izakaya Number.4": Your Dreams Are Made Of This Japanese Cuisine

favy
2

TOKYO Whisky Library - Omotesando, Tokyo : Discover 1,200 Kinds Of Whiskeys!

haru
3

Hokkaido Restaurant Genshiyaki In Bangkok, Thailand For Amazing Cheese Pasta And Incredibly Fresh Fish!

favy
4

YARUKI: A Must-Try Yakiniku And Wine Restaurant In The Heart Of Kyoto!

favy
5

A Must Try Robatayaki Restaurant In Bangkok, Thailand!

favy

Featured Posts

Spring Season Guide For Japanese Food!

For All Japanese Alcohol Aficionados!

Matcha Matcha Matcha! - Matcha in Japan

More Features

Events

Tokamachi Snow Festival: Astounding Snow Festival In Niigata!

Feb 16, Fri 〜 Feb 18, Sun

Sakura Beverages Are Back At Starbucks Japan From February 15, 2018!

Feb 15, Thu 〜 Mar 14, Wed

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival: Japan's Most Beautiful Winter Candle Light Festival

Feb 09, Fri 〜 Feb 18, Sun

Starbucks New American Scone Caramel Toffee (Yeah it's sweet!)

Jan 24, Wed 〜 Mar 14, Wed

A New Chocolate Pie On The Value Menu at McDonald's Japan! From January 22, 2018

Jan 22, Mon 〜 Feb 28, Wed

Hot Words!