The Sapporo Snow Festival

There is no bad time of year to visit Japan, because there are annual festivities and traditions that take place throughout the year. If you are planning a winter visit to Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, then you will not want to miss the Sapporo Snow Festival. This festival showcases a winter wonderland of whimsical ice and snow sculptures displayed throughout the city in three distinctive sites.

What is it?

During the Sapporo Snow Festival, the city is filled with snow sculptures, some of which tower overhead at 15 meters high and 25 meters wide. You can see the sculptures during the day, but you should also plan on a nighttime outing, as sculptures are lit each evening of the festival, which begins on February 4th and ends on February 11th.

Where does it take place?

There are three sites of the Snow Festival. Odori Park, where the festival originated, is where you will find the largest and most elaborate snow sculptures. You can see them up-close, but many visitors will choose to take a trip to the observatory of the Sapporo TV Tower for a more complete view. Ice sculptures can be seen at the Susukino Site, which is the city’s entertainment district. Finally, the Tsu Dome lets you get in the snow yourself and take a trip down huge snow slides at this family-friendly location. This site opens a little earlier on January 31st, so you can start enjoying the festival before it officially kicks off. Odori Park and the Susukino site are centrally located within the city, and a shuttle is available to take visitors to the Tsu Dome site, where parking is not readily available.

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