Sapporo Snow Festival 2014.2.10
My wife and I had a three day Sapporo Snow Festival Visit from February 6 to 8, 2014. This was festival my wife’s long-cherished wish. We also visited Asahikawa Zoo with numerous cages showing vividly all angles of the various activities of animals such as the white bears ( fourth picture below at the right side ). The cage show us the white bears from not only outside views but also the water tank view from inside.
The Sapporo Snow Festival, one of Japan’s largest winter events, attracts a numerous number of visitors annually from Japan and other countries. Every winter, about two million people come to Sapporo to see a large number of splendid snow and ice sculptures lining Odori Park, the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and along the main street in Susukino. For seven days in February, Sapporo is turned into a winter dreamland of crystal-like ice and white snow.
The first Sapporo Snow Festival was held in Odori Park in 1950, with only six snow statues made by local high school students.
In 1955, the Self Defense Force joined in to make a massive snow sculpture. In 1959, twenty five hundred people participated in making snow sculptures and the nationwide media reported the Snow Festival for the first time.
In 1974, the International Snow Sculpture Contest began as a part of the Snow Festival. Since then, a number of teams from various regions of the world; including Shenyang (China), Alberta (Canada), Munich (Germany), Sydney (Australia) and Portland (U.S.A.), each of which has a close relationship with Sapporo, have been participating in the contest.
In 1983 the third site at Susukino was opened adding a new aspect to the festival with the ice sculptures illuminated by the street neon lights. In 1984, the duration of the festival was extended by two days and became seven days. The Sapporo Snow Festival has developed its international aspect over the years, and has been creatively evolving up to the present.
Sapporo snow festival 2014.2.6～2.9