Temporal Art made of Snow or Ice
The Sapporo Snow Festival was started in 1950 when a few high school students built six snow sculptures in Odori Park. Then in 1955 the Self Defense Force decided to join the fun and constructed the first truly massive snow structure and a tradition was born.
In 1972 Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympic Games which introduced Sapporo and the snow festival to the rest of the world. Today competitors from all over the world gather to compete in the festival. Some of the competitors come from countries that do not naturally get snow. This friendly competition has produced some amazing results to enjoy.
The festival is divided into three major sites; Odori Site, Susukino Site and Tsudome Site. The main events happen in the Odori Site where visitors can enjoy large sculptures measuring up to 25 meters high and 15 meters wide. These larger sculptures are usually lit up until 22:00 so you will want to take an evening stroll to see them.
Getting around is easy as Sapporo has a wonderful subway system. There are also many shuttle buses that will take you from site to site.
The Odori Site
This site is located in Odori Park which runs east to west in downtown Sapporo and is just a few blocks from Sapporo Station. It should be very easy to find as everyone will be heading to the park so following the warmly dressed crowds should get your there. Once there you will be able to see many special events including concerts. If you wish to see the festival from above then a visit to the Sapporo TV Tower is for you.
The Susukino Site
This site is located in Sapporo’s largest entertainment district just south of Odori Park. Located just one subway station from Odori Station at Susukino Subway Station. Here you will see more sculptures and a photo opportunity of the Ice Queen.
The Tsudome Site
This is the largest site by square meters and is more focused on families. Here you will find large ice slides and a snow rafting area. You will find more sculptures and refreshments inside the Sapporo Community Dome. The site is located on the Toho Subway line about 8 minutes on foot from Sakaemachi Station. The subway ride will take about 12 minutes from Odori Station or 11 minutes from Sapporo Subway Station.
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It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...
Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...
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Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.
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