The “2018 Snow Festival”, or “Sapporo Yuki Matsuri” as it’s known in Japanese, will be held in Hokkaido’s capital Sapporo from February 512. It is one of Japan's most popular winter events.
The Snow Festival was started in 1950, when high-school students built a few snow statues in Odori Park. It has since developed into a large, commercialised event, featuring spectacular snow and ice sculptures and attracting more than two million visitors from Japan and across the world.
The festival is staged on three sites. The first and main site is Odori Park with its famous large snow sculptures, more than 25 metres wide and 15 metres high. They are lit up daily until 10pm.
The park is also the venue for more than 100 smaller snow statues and hosts several concerts and events. A good view over the park is from the Sapporo TV Tower at the eastern end of the park. Opening hours are extended from 8.30 to 10.30pm during the festival. Admission to the top observatory deck costs 720 yen per adult. A 1,100 yen ticket allows a day visit and a night visit.
The second site is at Susukino, named after Sapporo’s largest entertainment district, which exhibits about 100 ice sculptures. Susukino is located only one subway stop south of Odori Park. The ice sculptures are lit up daily until 11pm.
The last is at Tsu Dome, a familyoriented site with three types of snow slides, snow rafting and more snow sculptures. Inside the dome, there are many food stalls and a stage for events. The dome is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
For more information, visit www.JapanGuide.com/e/e5311.html.