Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sapporo Snow Festival 2012

The Sapporo Snow Festival was one of those checkmarks we wanted to be able to cross off our list of big things to do in Japan before leaving. Check! We put together this little trip at the very last minute, and with train tickets in hand, we set off for the 7 hour ride (from Honshu to Hokkaido via the undersea Seikan Tunnel) to Sapporo.

This is what everything between Misawa and Sapporo looks like in February.

So being in Sapporo and all, dinner upon arrival was naturally at the Sapporo Beer Factory's Bier Garten. We traipsed ourselves through an insane blizzard following malfunctioning phone gps directions back and forth between random streets until we finally found the place, essentially in human-icicle form. Our 100 minutes of all you can eat and drink grilled meat, veggies and beer were very well earned that night. I will say that the grounds were gorgeous, and the snow added some very lovely ambiance. I guess that stuff is good for something...

On to the festival:

It was cool! It was really, really cool. As in -5˚c at the warmest time of day. It sort of hurt after a few hours. Yet we saw what we wanted to see in between trips back to the hotel to defrost. There were several LARGE snow sculptures and countless medium and small-sized ones. There was an international competition with teams from cities all over the world. There were snowboard daredevils. There was ice skating. There were pretty lights and cute characters and happy smiling people.

And then there was food. Oh, there was food. And hot mulled wine. I guarantee you nothing has ever or will ever taste as good as that wine did that particular day.

Fun little trip! There's a bajillion more pictures (click on any of the ones here to get to the album) if you want to see all the other sculptures. Corey's headed back to Hokkaido in a couple weeks for a snowboarding trip, but this was probably it for me this time around in Japan. Glad I got to see a little slice of Sapporo!


Anonymous said...

Wow! Those sculptures are just mind boggling. I can't even really grasp the idea that those were made from snow. Amazing!

ben said...

I didn't get a chance to see the sculptures this year....too busy, but I heard one of them, the Hatsuni Mikuni stature collapsed and injured an old granny! Too warm this year supposedly.