Updated: April 15, 2019
1 Bookmark

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

Sapporo

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.

Jan 31, 2019(Thu) - Feb 11, 2019(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.
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.
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.
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

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.
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.
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

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 14 days. Check out the official website for the dates this year!

2019 Edition

The 2018 edition of the Sapporo Snow Festival will be held on the Odori site and Susukino site from February 4 (Monday) to February 11 (Monday), and at the Tsudome site from January 31 (Thursday) to February 11 (Monday).

Where to Stay?

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.

Trending Posts

1

Best Places To Try The Famous Japanese Fluffy Pancakes In Tokyo!

Tokyo
2

Japanese McDonald's Special Menu Items And Prices

3

10 Impossibly Cool Bars in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Shinjuku
4

Sashimi Guide: Types, How To Make & Eat, Nutrition, Etc.

5

11 Best Restaurants to Eat Kobe Beef in Kobe (affordable to high-end)

Kobe
More Trending Posts

Recommended For You!

1

Kobe Plaisir Ginza: Marvellous Kobe Beef Restaurant In Tokyo

favy
2

Ninja Castle: Awesome Ninja-Themed Restaurant in Asakusa, Tokyo

favy
3

Standing Yakiniku Restaurant Jiromaru Has Some Amazing Meats to Try!

favy
4

Ginza's Fanciest Ramen Features Wagyu Beef and Is Totally Worth ¥1,500!

favy
5

Enjoy 30 kinds of succulent, flavoured clams at Re:Dine Ginza

favy

Featured Posts

Halal Restaurants In Japan!

Things to do in Japan in all regions!

Exploring Yokocho Alleys: a Guide to the Back Streets!

More Features

Events

Mister Donut Offering 5 Delicious Sweet Potato Donuts This Autumn!

Sep 06, Fri ~ Oct 31, Thu

Komeda's Coffee's 'Otona-Noir' is back by popular demand

Sep 04, Wed ~ Oct 01, Tue

Starbucks Japan: new colourful frappuccinos and autumn food lineup!

Aug 30, Fri ~ Sep 19, Thu

This Summer's Must-Try Ramen: Chilled Tantanmen at Ippudo!

Jul 25, Thu ~ Sep 23, Mon

2019 Guide to Fireworks Festivals in Japan! (花火大会)

Jul 24, Wed ~ Oct 06, Sun

Trending Tags