The Sapporo Snow Festival will take place from February 4-11, 2020. Snow festivals had existed in Hokkaido previously but they had all been suspended during World War 2. The modern festival began life back in 1950 when a handful of students constructed six snow statues in Odori Park.
Five years later members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces from the nearby Makomanai base joined the fun designing and building the first of the huge snow sculptures for which the Snow Festival has now become famous.
The international snow and ice sculpting competitions started in 1974 and attracts teams and visitors from all over the world. The upcoming even will feature teams from China, Macau, South Korea, Indonesia, Poland, Finland, Thailand and Hawaii.
Altogether there will be around 400 different snow sculptures in three different locations. The main location is still in Odori Park in the centre of Sapporo. This where you will find the huge snow sculptures and be able to watch the incredible mapping. There is also a skating rink and plenty of good local food to help keep you warm.
The Susukino Site will host the ice sculptures. Both of these sites are at their best in the evenings. The illuminations are turned on at sunset and turned off at 22.00. Tsudome Site is open all day and features slides, snow rafts and other fun attractions for children of all ages.
Photo: Japan National Tourist Organisation