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Chill Out at the Sapporo Snow Festival

Featuring over two hundred ice sculptures, great food and a ton of activities for the family the Sapporo Snow Festival is a fantastic way to enjoy a day in the winter.

By 2 min read 6

Featuring over 200 ice sculptures, live music, traditional winter foods, and a big air snowboard competition, the Sapporo Snow & Ice Festival draws people from all over the world to take part in Japan’s largest snow festival.


The Snow Festival takes place at three venues across Sapporo, but the main stage is the 12-block long Odori. It’s here on each of it’s 12 blocks that you’ll find the largest and most internationally renowned ice sculptures.


The 6th block of the Odori is home to the Hokkaido Winter Food Park. Make your way over here to warm up over a bowl of mutton barbecue, soup curry, ramen, and a number of other Hokkaido winter favorites.

Don’t feel like eating Japanese? The International Gourmet Corner in International Square on the 11th block has you covered with specialty foods from all over the world.

sapporo food

If you need to work off all that delicious food, there’s ice skating, bushwalking on skis, and the Donbei Kun Ice Slide for the kids and those who feel like kids. Best of all, the whole of the Odori is illuminated every night until 10pm. You haven’t seen the snow festival until you’ve seen it at night.


If you’ve got kids the Tsudome area has a variety of activities in both an indoor and outdoor venue. Inside the dome kids can enjoy “Huwa Huwa Corner” and the mini-bullet train, and you can enjoy performances put on by various groups from all over Hokkaido. You can call also shop for traditional goods at the Hokkaido Furusato Market. The thrills continue outside the dome with 3 different ice slides, snow rafting, and a number of other kid and family friendly activities.


The third and final venue of the Sapporo Snow Festival is Susukino, home to the ice sculpting contest. In this contest you are the judge, so cast your vote for your favorite design.


Sapporo Beer Garden

When you do finally decide to call it a day, do it right by going for dinner at the Sapporo Beer Garden. It’s the perfect way to warm up before bed after a cold day outside.

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  • Jean M. Gorman says:

    I spent 3 years in Chitose 1961-65 & loved it.. Went with 3 toehead blonde children & came back with 4. Went on a motorcycle & climed Mt. Tomocimi while 8 months pregnant. Spent time with the Inau Indians.. Realy fell in love with the people, drank Akadama wine while Mamasan made from 1 small ball of dough the noodle that made 1 bowl of Ramin. I have a good friend I found out that bicycled around the perimeter of Hokido near the same time I was there. He now collects records of perimeters cicycled & is the Founder of Perimeter Bicycling Assoc. of America Inc. Started a Mt Fuji ride, a Japaneese Mayors ride. In shortJapan is much loved from here in Tucson…

  • Sandhya says:

    Usual stuff like visiting odori and susukino snow festival is undeniably fun and would rank first in our priority list of to do things in Sapporo ….. But must see places are shiroi koibito chocolate factory, beer museum and otaru lantern festival

  • Alexander Dubinski says:

    I just spent the last three days at the 65th Snow Festival. It really was beautiful and I enjoyed it very much. There were a lot of college students there with all kinds of questions for foreigners like myself. However, I was surprised to not see all that many other foreigners.

    • Anthony Joh says:

      I also didn’t see a lot of Western foreigners but I did see a lot of Thais when I went. With direct flights from Bangkok to Niseko a lot of Thais come to experience snow for the first time.

  • I went to the festival a couple of years ago. Combined it with a snowboarding trip to Kiroro – amazing experience. I really suggest that people go and check it out, and it doesn’t cost a lot. If you’re prepared to fly in the middle of the night you can get silly deals on tickets.



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