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Snow Festivals Are Held All over Hokkaido

April 20th, 2016

Snow Festivals in Hokkaido

Snow often begins to fall from Christmas time and Hokkaido is covered with snow until late March when snow begins to melt, the land changes to the white world during the time. The snow falls in silence and the temperature falls, too. Its peak is February, and various snow events are held all over Hokkaido in around February. I visited Sapporo Snow Festival, Asahikawa Winter Festival, Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival, Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival, Otofuke Tokachi Swan Festival Sairinka, Nayoro Winter Festival, Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival, Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival, Iwamizawa Heavy Snow Festival. I want to visit other snow events, too.

Large Snow Sculpture, Final Fantasy
Odori Site, Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo Snow Festival

Snow Festival is a festival using snow including snow sculptures and a snowball fight, and the Snow Festival is held in various areas of Hokkaido. Sapporo Snow Festival is the biggest snow festival event in Hokkaido and began in 1950. A duration of the exhibition is only about one week, but more than 2.3 million people visit here. A main site is Odori site, and other sites are Tsudome site and Susukino site. Article is here

Large Snow Sculpture, Hokkaido Shinkansen
Sapporo Snow Festival

Atmosphere of Sapporo Snow Festvial 2016 Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Sapporo Snow Festvial 2016

Asahikawa Winter Festival

Asahikawa Winter Festival is a snow festival event held in early February. It was held for the first time in 1960, and this is one of the 2 Major Winter Festival with Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, about 1 million tourists come to see the event. Asahikawa Winter Festival has 2 sites, Asahibashi Bridge Site and Heiwadori Shopping Park Site. As for the Asahibashi Bridge Site adjacent to Tokiwa park, a gigantic snow sculpture is featured. World Ice Sculpture Contest is held at the Heiwadori Shopping Park Site, and ice sculptur works are displayed. Article is here

Ultraman Ginga S and Ultraman Victory
Asahikawa Snow Festival, Asahibashi Bridge Site

Atmosphere of Asahikawa Snow Festival Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Asahikawa Snow Festival

Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival

Sounkyo in Kamikawa town located in the southeastern part of Asahikawa city is a hot-spring resort as a famous fall foliage place. The whole area of Sounkyo is clothed in autumn leaves, and in particular a scenery from Mt. Kurodake is beautiful. A ropeway and a lift are installed from the hot-spring resort of Sounkyo Onsen to Mt. Kurodake. It is extremely appealing that tourists can reach to the fifth station on the Mt. Kurodake without climbing a mountain on foot. The tourists can look over a very splendid scenery from a high place. The fall foliage is the best season to see in mid September. The tourists will enjoy the splendid scenery of Mts. Daisetuzan called "The garden that gods have a good time". By the way, the Mt. Kurodake changes to a ski resort in a winter, and Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival is held in the winter, too. Admission free, but you want to ride a ropeway, must pay a fare. In addition, you can climb a mountain free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Look of Venue
Kamikawa Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival

Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival

Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival

Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival is a snow event in Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose city located in the southern part of Sapporo city and is held from late January to mid February. There are a resting place, stalls, a restroom in the site. Admission and a parking lot are free of charge. Article is here

Look of Festival Venue
Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival

Atmosphere of Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival at Night Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Chitose Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival at Night

Otofuke Tokachi Swan Festival Sairinka

Otofuke Tokachi Swan Festival Sairinka is a winter event held from 19:00 - 21:00 everyday from mid January to late February in Otofuke town located in the northeastern part of Obihiro city. It strated at Tokachigaoka park in 1992. The event might be cancelled due to bad weather. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

View from Viewing Platform
Otofuke Tokachi Swan Festival Sairinka

Atmosphere of Otofuke Tokachi Swan Festival Sairinka Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Otofuke Tokachi Swan Festival Sairinka

Nayoro Winter Festival

Nayoro Winter Festival is a snow event held in Nayoro city located between Asahikawa city and Wakkanai city and was held in 1952 for the first time. It is held for only 3 days in mid February. There are a large snow sculpture of Jibanyan (Yo-Kai Watch) with snow slide and small snow sculptures made by Nayoro citizen in the site when I visited here in 2015. Nayoro has a base for Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Self-Defense Forces have been in charge of the production, administration and management of the large snow sculpture since the old days. I had a member of Self-Defense Forces play in old days, but that do not still change. Children looked like their's having fun playing. Article is here

International Snow Sculpting Competition
Nayoro Winter Festival

Nayoro Winter Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Nayoro Winter Festival

Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival is a winter event held in Abashiri city located in the northeastern part of Kitami city and started in 1966. The festival is held at Abashiri port event site that it takes about 10 minutes on foot from Roadside Station "Ryuhyo kaido Abashiri" during 3-4 days in mid February. By the way, the roadside staion is a ferry terminal of Icebreaking Ship Aurora2, it is crowded in a winter. Many sightseeing buses parked at a parking lot. Article is here

Main Snow Sculpture like Abashiri Prison
Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

Atmosphere of Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Abashiri Okhotsk Ryuhyo Festival

Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival

Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival is a winter event held in Monbetsu city located in the eastern part of Asahikawa city and started in 1963. The festival is held at the side of Kaiyo-Koryukan during 3-4 days in mid February. Article is here

Main Ice Sculpture like Old Public Hall of Hakodate
Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival

Atmosphere of Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Monbetsu Ryuhyo Festival

Iwamizawa Heavy Snow Festival

Iwamizawa Heavy Snow Festival is a snow event in late febuary. Iwamizawa is famous for having heavy snow, and the Iwamizawa Heavy Snow Festival is named so and is held beside Iwamizawa station. There are small and large 6 snow sculptures with ice slides. Because a site is not large, such a characteristic might appear. In addition, there is a strange race track like a course of the sled. Except the snow sculptures, there are many stalls and tourists can eat pheasant dishes, Iwamizawa local specialty dish, too. I did not know that the pheasant dish was the Iwamizawa local specialty dish only after I came here. There are few the snow sculptures, but many events such as the ningen bamba race event seems to be carried out.

Main Snow Sculpture and Stage
Iwamizawa Heavy Snow Festival

Atmosphere of Iwamizawa Heavy Snow Festival Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Iwamizawa Heavy Snow Festival

Admission fee Free of charge
Parking lot Paid parking lot is provided
Business hour 10:00-19:00 * It changes depending on days.
Regular closing day From late February to early February
Telephone number +81-126-22-3470
Home page Home page is here

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