Japan celebrates the Sapporo Snow Festival

Written by FE Online | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 14 2014, 00:00am hrs
JapanThe festival attracts over 2,000,000 visitors as an international event with participants from other countries as well.
Japan recently celebrated The 65th Sapporo Snow Festival, one of Japan's largest winter events that attracts a growing number of domestic and international visitors every year. Every winter, about two million people come to Sapporo to see a large number of splendid snow statues and ice sculptures which line Odori Park, the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and the main street in Susukino. For seven days in February, these statues and sculptures turn Sapporo into a winter dreamland of crystal-like ice and white snow. Odori Avenue Park is more than 1,400 meters long. In summer it is full of beer gardens, while in winter it becomes the location for a snow festival. During the festival, this big park is lined with magnificent snow statues and beautiful ice statues.

In snowy regions such as Hokkaido or Tohoku, snow festivals are held, and the best of all snow festivals in terms of publicity and scale is the Sapporo Snow Festival. Snow statues are made by piling up and carving out snow, varying in size from large statues over 15m to small statues with a height of about 2m, and they are very impressive. The festival attracts over 2,000,000 visitors as an international event with participants from other countries as well.

Sapporo in western Hokkaido is divided up in a grid pattern, and is the largest city on the island. Odori Avenue Park stretches from east to west in the center of the city, and is a symbol of the city - full of art objects, fountains, lilac and acacia plants and lots of flowerbeds. To the north stand trading companies, financial institutions and local government offices, while to the south is a large underground shopping mall, which as the city's main shopping center is always busy. It is connected directly to Sapporo Station, which is the transportation hub for all of Hokkaido and the place to board JR lines, the subway, and both local and tourist buses.

The city contains many essential sights: the Sapporo City Clock, which has been marking time for over a century; the old Hokkaido government building, a neo-baroque building known as "Red Brick" that is lit up after dark; and the poplars outside Hokkaido University (formerly Hokkaido Agricultural College).