Here we are in Sapporo Today we’re off to Otaru For the Snow Light Path Festival It’s smaller than the big, famous one in Sapporo They have volunteers making lanterns out of snow This was the highlight of my trip to Hokkaido It’s not as big & impressive As the Sapporo Snow Festival But it’s really magical & charming And if you time your trip right You can see them both I’ll give you some more practical tips at the end of the video And there’s new Japan vlogs on my channel every Thursday If you want to subscribe *Japanese station announcement* We’ve just arrived in Otaru For the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival It happens every February Along the famous area by the canal They make little lanterns out of snow And put candles in them And it looks really pretty in the pictures It overlaps slightly with the Sapporo Snow Festival So that’s why we chose to come here at this time We got the train from Sapporo It was only about half an hour So you can do this as a day trip or an afternoon trip So now we’ve got a couple of hours to look around the town Before it gets dark And the festival starts The illuminations should be coming on about 5 o’clock Here’s a map we found at the station There’s a “massive stone building” “Remembrance of good old days of Otaru” “Happy to be here” Let’s go there! The train was absolutely packed Lots of people got off here at Minami Otaru Station That means South Otaru But we stayed on And got off at Otaru Station As well as the festival in the town centre There’s two other sites There’s also the Asarigawa Hot Spring Which looks really pretty with the lights all around the water And there’s also the Tenguyama Ropeway Which is a mountain Where people go skiing And they put lights up in the snow up there You have ot get a bus if you want to go to those ones I’ve spotted a few of these lamps made of ice I think they’re getting ready for later I wonder if they have to remake these many times during the festival It goes on for quite a while I didn’t expect them to be different colours Waah!! Look at these icicles on this house! They’re so long! That snow’s ready to fall Oh wow! Hope that doesn’t fall on your head! Everywhere around Sapporo There’s been these giant snow drifts Where people have shovelled snow to the side I wonder how tall they get before the snow melts Ahh this looks really cute! There’s some jars in the front LIke it’s going to be lit up later on If you get there early, before it gets dark You can see them setting up And making all the snow lamps They’re making ice poles here To make this log cabin Out of ice Wow I like how they’ve made tables out of snow & ice To work on! This must be one of the trails That’s going to be full of snow lamps later on There’s all holes in the wall Where they’re going to be In the town centre There are 2 main areas for the festival This one is along an old railway line And the other one, which is more famous That you see in all the pictures Is along the canal This railway line one Was actually my favourite We’ll be back later when it gets dark We’ve found the canal! This is the famous spot in Otaru Where the lanterns are going to be later on You can see them making them with buckets down there And look at these crazy icicles They’re so big! All the snow lamps and sculptures Are made by locals & volunteers from Korea & China They’re all made by hand Aah there’s a tool for making the snowballs! And look at these lamps With flowers in That’s really creative These lamps say “Omotenashi Street” Omotenashi Street Omotenashi’s the Japanese idea of looking after your guests Or looking after people And making them feel welcome We’ve found this place called Denuki Koji That has little alleyways with tiny restaurants in It looks really cute! We just popped into this bar to warm up It turned out to be a whiskey bar Neither of us are really into whiskey So we had a hot apple wine And it was really nice And the place itself was really cosy It only had a couple of seats And it just had a really nice, relaxed feel to it Tiny cosy bars like this Are a lot more common in Japan Than they are in the UK Our pubs tend to be a lot bigger I don’t think you’d find many places that only have about 10 seats like this This is actually quite a classy place They had a big selection of quality Japanese whiskies And tasting sets If you’re into whiskey You can visit a distillery in Otaru’s neighbouring town Yoichi It’s named after the Scottish girl who married the founder of Japanese whiskey We’ve both gone for hot apple wine It’s really nice to warm our hands up Kampai! Mmm, it smells quite strong actually! We’re starting to see lamps! It’s not really dark yet But they’re all ready to go This is a side canal going off the main, big canal It’s completely frozen! There’s lots of charming-looking old buildings like this one They’re all full of nick-nacks and souvenirs and things Waaahhhh! A big fat snowman! Now it’s dinnertime So we popped into a conveyor belt sushi bar Here’s my corn & mayo gunkan And an inari pocket And Phil’s got yellowtail Had some salmon Salmon was there! The ones on the belt are covered in plastic here They’ve got plastic to keep them fresh Keep germs off them I guess This one’s a fatty tuna gunkan There were two The other one’s been eaten It’s onions on top Here’s the English menu There’s quite a lot This one is a little bit more expensive than other conveyor belt sushi places we’ve been to Possibly because it’s in a touristy, pretty place It is quite nice though Yeah And all the vegetable rolls are cheap 162 yen When we came out It was dark! And time for the festival This is Otaru Denuki Koji That’s where the bar was that we stopped at It looks really cute from across here In the snow & with the lights on This said -6.3 a minute ago The temperature’s dropping! This is the most famous, picture postcard view of Otaru Along the canal And it is really beautiful With all the snow & icicles All lit up by candlelight Look how many people are trying to get the perfect shot Across the canal! Paparazzi! Otaru used to be a major port And these warehouses were used for storing & sorting goods They’re no longer used So now they’re shops & restaurants But they still have a really picturesque look The main path of the festival Is alongside the canal It’s all completely free to look round A theme of the festival Is welcoming people And helping you forget your troubles As you enjoy the candlelight There’s all the snow bricks And lanterns behind Here’s Omotenashi Street All lit up & cosy-looking! Otaru is known for glass It’s by the sea So they used to make glass floats For fishing nets They’re no longer used any more But they use the same glass floats in the festival To hold the candles in the canal And you can get lots of glass souvenirs In the shops It’s really simple Just snow blocks put in different shapes But looks so pretty It’s a little snow village! Cute! There’s so many people along here In quite a narrow alleyway It’s impossible to get your perfect shot Without someone getting in the way Or a kid walking past Or someone’s selfie stick! But it is really beautiful And enchanting It’s so pretty I almost forgot how cold it is My fingers are quite cold though All these displays Are really enchanting It feels like it’s got a lot of heart Not just because of the hearts But because it’s all simple, home-made Sort of things But really effective And beautiful We’re just walking along from the canal to the other site Which I think is on an old railway line It’s the place where we saw them setting up earlier Like Christmas trees! Across the road there’s Thriller Karaoke! With a portcullis! And a demon sign! I wonder if the rooms inside are themed as well These are just down by the side of the road Where everyone’s walking It’s really pretty With the flowers in there These are so simple, it’s something that anyone could do But really effective As far as I know They re-make all of these snow lanterns Every day I don’t know if the candles are warm enough to melt them away This is definitely one anyone could do! In a tupperware pot And tin foil! How would you do that? I would draw some pictures & put them in there Here’s the log cabin we saw them making earlier They finished it off Ooh it’s got snowmen inside! How cosy! I wonder if they re-make this every day? This was my favourite section It’s a bit less crowded than the canal And really atmospheric Walking along the snowy path Some of the displays were really cute Look it’s a little snow Totoro! We saw about 3 snow Totoros Yesterday at the Sapporo Snow Festival These ones are the cutest ones This one, they must have frozen the stars with little strings in To make them floating That’s really cool! Ahh so cute! A little penguin in his star house He looks unhappy Because we’re all here On his doorstep Go away, leave me in peace! Look it’s a snow cat lamp! The variety of lamps & decorations Is really quite stunning Everything’s made by hand And essentially quite simple But really creative I like these ones where they’ve made a picture out of the flowers & the leaves That’s really cool The path still carries on for quite a way up ahead I thought we would have got to the end of it by now Because we’ve seen quite a lot Down this way But it’s really long This must have taken them ages to set up This path is actually 500m long That’s half a kilometre! I enjoyed the whole thing All the way along It was really captivating & magical This display’s actually pretty big I wonder how they made these tubes for the bamboo Isn’t it funny how the candles make them look so cosy Even though it’s freezing cold It’s not cosy at all This is Phil’s patented technique For focussing your camera phone When your fingers are too cold I’m turning the flash on and off These gloves are supposed to be conductive So you can use your phone But I think they’ve got so cold That it doesn’t work I’m having to use my nose Which somehow is warmer Yesterday it got so cold Both our phone batteries died And our wifi battery ran out All the electronics shut down Ah this is really beautiful It’s like in Frozen Not Frozen It’s like in Tangled Where the lanterns go up! All the floating lamps We’re about to go through a snow wall It’s so tall! That’s taller than me We’ve come into a bar To warm up They’ve made some steps outside Going up the side Made out of snow It’s a really cool idea And yes, the lens is steamed up Now we’ve come indoors Hope this doesn’t break my camera! It’s really cosy in here And warm Most importantly They’ve got a really big selection of drinks Everything’s 500 yen Or they do all you can drink For 2 hours For 3000 yen Look they’ve got Pokemon cocktails Bulbasaur, Charmander & Squirtle I’ve got a cassis coke It’s actually really good It tastes of blackcurrant Here’s the steps up to the bar we went to It’s a really good idea People need drinks And hot drinks KFC’s got in on the snow festival! It’s kind of weird, this big statue of the colonel I’ve seen them before In pictures But – It’s weird! We just got back to the hotel Excuse my hat hair I enjoyed that festival a lot more than I expected to It was really beautiful & charming It feels like a lot of love has gone into it Because it’s all made by volunteers They must renew a good amount of it Every day Which is amazing really It has a home-grown feel to it Because a lot of the displays are quite simple But they’re really effective And it’s really charming Especially compared to the Sapporo Snow Festival Which is really big and commercial And everything’s sponsored by a company Or got something to do with advertising In a way This one is just there for you to enjoy It’s made by volunteers They’re not trying to get anything out of it Apart from bringing more people into the town of Otaru So yeah, it feels like it has a lot of love And I really enjoyed it It was really beautiful There’s actually 3 sites to the festival We just went to the main, town centre site There’s also the Asarigawa Hote Springs village site Which looks really beautiful And there’s the Tenguyama site Which is up a mountain You have to go up a ropeway Now both of those 2 others Are a 25 minute bus journey from the town centre So I think if you just went to the town centre site like we did You can easily do it as a day trip From Sapporo On the train You could probably see one of the other sites as well But if you want to see all of them You really need to be there for 2 days I think Because it gets dark about 5:30 And then the whole festival finishes at 9pm So it’s not really enough time to get round all of them I wouldn’t think Especially as it’s so busy So you can get there from Sapporo on the train It’s about half an hour or 40 minutes Depending which train you get And you can use your JR Pass From Sapporo Station To Otaru Station If you want to see the rest of the things we’ve been doing in Sapporo And Hokkaido Have a look at my other videos And subscribe for new Japan videos Every Thursday See you soon!