The Sapporo Snow Festival begins today and runs until 11th February again this year.
This year is the 66th Sapporo Snow Festival, which has its origins in six snow and ice sculptures made by local high school students in Odori Park back in 1950. In 1955, the Japanese Self Defense Forces helped to make the large sculptures seen to this day.
The main places to see the ice and snow sculptures are: Odori Park, Tsudome Community Dome and Susukino - the main entertainment and commercial area of Sapporo, south of Sapporo Station.
Among this year's over 200 ice sculptures are a replica of the Manila Cathedral in the Philippines, a snow and ice version of the Xingtian Kong Temple in Taiwan, Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara, a "Snow Star Wars" based on the popular movie,"Alice's Adventures in Snowland" plus famous character figures such as Sazae-san and family.
As well as the amazing ice sculptures, other entertainments include an "Ice Queen" contest in Susukino, an international ice sculpture festival with 12 teams from such nations as USA (Hawaii & Portland), Korea (Daejeon), Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Finland, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Poland, snow slides, ice mazes and lots of great Hokkaido food and drink such as hot potatoes, seafood and Sapporo ramen.
Around 2 million visitors are expected to attend this year's event. 2.4 million attended the Sapporo Snow Festival in 2014.
Sapporo Snow Festival 2015 (Official Site in Japanese, Chinese, Korean & English)
Tel: 011 211 2376
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