Sapporo Snow Festival

The plum blossoms are beginning to emerge in Tokyo, so it’s hard to remember that just a month ago we were at the snow festival up in Sapporo. While we spent several days skiing (including at the famous Niseko, although the weather that day was not so good) and doing other tourism around Hokkaido, one of the highlights of any trip to Sapporo in winter has to be the yukimatsuri — snow festival, in which all kinds of snow carvings go up in the central Sapporo park. These statues range from small human-sized carvings to huge building-sized panoramas. The festival starts properly on February fourth, and we were there on the third, so we got to see everyone putting the final touches on their statues, which was fun. It also meant we avoided the majority of the crowds, and since some of the pathways and footing was treacherous, we appreciated having some space. It was also quite unseasonably warm (relatively speaking — Jen was still really glad to dive into a hot bowl of ramen for lunch) so some of the statues which had been done before had been damaged by the heat and rain and were being touched up.

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