Chill Out at the Sapporo Snow Festival
By Anthony Joh
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.
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.