Odori Park, Susukino, and Tsudome in Sapporo are the main sites of the Sapporo Snow Festival. This is one of Japan’s most attended and distinct events throughout the year. Since 1974, Odori Park has been the location for the International Snow Sculpture Contest. Every year the ice sculptures are different, there is usually a theme. There is usually about 400 ice sculptures at the Sapporo Snow Festival.
The Sapporo Snow Festival began in 1950, six local high school students built six large snow statues in Odori Park. The Snow Festival can attribute its fame to the Japan Self-Defense Forces from the nearby Makomanai base who joined in building the first massive snow sculptures in 1955.
Stretching over 1.5km Odori Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland of ice and snow. Every ice sculpture is different so each one will leave an impression on you.
Artists make sculptures of various characters, adults and children enjoy them. Their hard work is definitely appreciated.
The over the top ice and snow sculptures are the main attraction of the Sapporo Snow Festival. This character is called Anpan Man, he is a popular children’s super hero.
The second largest spot of the Sapporo Snow Festival is the community dome, Tsudome. Tsudome has large snow slides and a snow rafting area. Kids and adults can have fun together playing on the snow slopes. Tsudome is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, inside the dome there are many play areas for children to play while the parents can relax and have a snack. This is a great place to experience winter activities like sledding while in side the city of Sapporo.
At the Susukino Site, you can see amazing ice sculptures that are out of this world. Every year there are different ice and snow sculptures. Pictured above is a bear, deer, an eagle, and other animals found in the woods.
This glorious ice castle is colorfully illuminated in the night giving it even more vibrancy.
This is an ice replica of Tsuruga Castle in Fukushima. The current castle is a concrete replica of the original castle from the 14th century.
This is an imaginary temple, many Japanese temples tend to have the same designs on the roofs.
The 44th International Snow Sculpture Contest in 2017 will be held February 5th, 8th, and 9th. There are 12 teams competing to win the competition. Guests can watch the competition at the International Square, Odori, Nishi 11 chome. The opening ceremony is held on February 5th, after the ceremony the teams work on their statue. By February 8th, all of the statues must be completed. On February 9th, the judges pick a winner and the award ceremony is held.
If you have any questions about the Sapporo Snow Festival, please contact us via online chat or Facebook Messenger.
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Sapporo Snow Festival
Address: 11 Chome Odorinishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture
Access: 2 minute walk from Nishi juitchome Station
Date: February 6th – 12th, 2017
Website: Sapporo Snow Festival