Sapporo Snow Festival one of the largest festivals of the year in Sapporo, held in February for one week, is attracting more than two million visitors.
It began in 1950 when high school students built snow statues in Odori Park.
It has since developed into a large, commercialized event. About a dozen large sculptures are built for the festival along with hundreds of smaller snow and ice sculptures. It also hosts several concerts and other events.
It consists of a combination of large-scale replicas and artistic sculptures; children-aimed attractions; and a separate section for world-wide competitors where you can see a wide range of smaller sculptures.
The festival should be enjoyed both in the day, but particularly at night when the sculptures, especially the larger ones are lit up.
A good view over the Odori Site can be enjoyed from the Sapporo TV Tower at the eastern end of Odori Park.
The Snow Festival is staged on three sites: the Odori Site, Susukino Site and Tsu Dome Site, though it is mostly focused on Odori Site, in the center of the city.
Tsu Dome Site is a family oriented site which includes large snow slides and a snow rafting area outside the dome where a person of any age can have a snow-ice experience. Inside the dome, there are plenty of attractions for children, food stands and a stage for events.
The highlight of the Odori Park event site may be the dozens upon dozens of food booths that offer all of Hokkaido's delicacies in a convenient package.
You can enjoy grilled corn, homegrown potatoes with melted Cheese, Curry Ramen and Vanilla Ice Cream with melted Caramel.
Also enjoy ethnic cuisine from authentic Brazilian, Iranian and Russian cooks at the International Cultural Exchange area, near Sapporo Clock Tower.
If you are planning to visit, arrange accommodation early because Sapporo gets booked out during the festival.
Check out the Sapporo Snow Festival website for complete details.
Odori and Susukino Sites are in central Sapporo, about ten minutes’ walk south of JR Sapporo Station.
Tsu Dome Site "Sapporo Community Dome" is located outside the city center – From Sapporo Station take Toho Subway Line to Sakaemachi Station "about 10 minutes". It is a 15 minutes’ walk from the station.
Visit Tourist Information Centers for maps and guidebooks.
Odori Park - Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido Prefecture