So here we are in Hokkaido, and it’s cold. Why did I travel from Tokyo to Sapporo today? For this. Snow festival. It takes place annually in February, Since 1950 attracting 2 to 3 million visitors. I traveled from Tokyo to Sapporo for 9000 yen in Skymark Airlines. one of Japan’s budget carriers. The view was spectacular. Sapporo is located in Hokkaido, in Japan’s north. It’s famous for its pristine nature and fresh food. Sapporo is the biggest city. The snow festival’s main venue is the Odori park. where I am right now. So what actually is a snow festival? You’re about to find out. It involves a lot of snow. Truck loads of snow are shipped into the park. Heaped up and outlined before being carved. In 1955 the Japanese defense force started helping with the festival. A tradition that continues today. The sculptures are built by local volunteers. There are also citizen’s sculpture areas with very unique designs. There are usually 4 to 5 main gigantic sculptures. There is a lot to do and see here doing the week long festival. And there is also a lot to eat. I hope you’re hungry. Hokkaido crab is everywhere. The seafood is fresh. Ramen, too. This one has it all. That’s some amazing Ramen. At the snow festival you can try it all, at a reasonable price. First, let’s try this. Do you know what it is? It’s UNI! usually eaten raw, but this time grilled. This is sea urchin. He said you can eat the guts, It won’t kill you. It’s better to eat, This. Well, that’s guts too. but that’s the orange UNI I know in Sushi. Hot, slimy and good. Wao! Hotate! Scallop! Check that out. Hokkaido scallop are huge and tasty. It’s grilled with a dash of soy sauce for flavor. I smell something tasty over there. Snow crab leg meat grilled in a half shell. Honzuwai-kora-yaki, or grilled snow shell are a real treat. Looks like it has a little Hokkaido butter in it, too. Tender leg meat, grilled in butter. Let’s turn to Ramen. Sapporo is famous for Ramen, but this one, is coming from Asahikawa in the north. Salt soup, one. This is a real treat because I don’t have to go to Asahikawa to get Asahikawa Ramen. I can do it right here. Wao! Asahikawa Ramen. Asahikawa’s noodle are thin, hard and wavy. They don’t disappoint. Now let’s try some Sapporo Ramen. It’s miso based, and filled with oil to keep you blubbered up for the cold winter at hand. This stand is run by nearby Sapporo Ramen alley. or Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho. At night, festival food areas are more vibrant. There is so much more to try. You can really see a lot at snow festival. and that includes Japanese mascots at all shape and sizes. What mascot can create that terror, you ask? It’s Melon Kuma from Yubari City in Hokkaido. and he’s a real terror. Bulging melon vanes. and bloody teeth. and even the melon kuma gifts are ferociously cute. but how much of a terror is Melon Kuma? some mascots wave and hug. but melon kuma? bytes to show his love. Want to meet him? Come to Hokkaido. and bring a body guard. Many sidewalks are icy. There are sand stations for use. but if you want to protect yourself from falling, head to a convenient store for these. Ice cleats, or suberi-dome in Japanese. The suberi-dome can be attached to any type of shoes. with these rubber bands. See the metal spikes and extra gripping on the bottom. You’re sure to stay on your feet with these things attached. There is a lot to do at the festival. This ice sculptures had promotional photos for free. or larger ones for 1000yen. even the Coke here looks a little different. Limited edition Sapporo snow festival cans. but does it taste the same? It’s the same. There is ice skating rinks with rental skates for 500 yen. There are rides, and making ice mugs and more! No skill required. Just because drones are banned from the area, doesn’t mean you can’t get an aerial view. There is the Sapporo TV tower for that. built in 1957, at 147 meters high. and I went to the top for a bird eye’s view. From here, all of Odori park was in view. All the way to the mountain. At night, the snow festival takes on a different vibe. I headed back for another view. Climbing the steps to avoid the lines. Sapporo TV tower, above the observation deck. outside, so I can get a perfect view of Odori Park. and every single snow sculpture. It’s just amazing. The snow sculptures are illuminated until 10 pm The festival at night comes alive. There are more people, and the energy is at its peak. The clear ice and white snow becomes a canvas for color. The gigantic snow sculptures are a big draw, and they are all lit up. Recently, projectile mapping technology has allowed the art to become entertainment. This one highlights the Hokkaido Shinkansen line starting this year. The ruins of St.Paul in Macau was another theme. This is the Attack on Titan snow sculpture from Sapporo TV and it is awesome. Why did they choose this topic? Because it has a lot of impact. You can see this big hand jaunting out, and above the town, That Hulking face. Scary. The Attack on Titan put on a 5 minute show. every 15minutes or so. Those red eyes and knuckles made the exhibit stand out even more. Of all the sculpture this year, This one has the most impact. by far. Nearby is Susukino. Sapporo’s entertainment and restaurant district. and they also host an event for Sapporo Snow festival. The ice sculptures. The preparation of the event go up to the day of the event. The ice sculptures are quite detailed. and commercially themed here. This one is from Sushi-zanmai. and that’s the CEO in ice. he routinely buys the tuna on new year’s day. the most expensive fish in the world. I was drawn to their fish on ice exhibit. There is only one word that can sum it all up. Cool Well, that was fun. Waiting up here in Hokkaido is a lot of snow. delicious food and unforgettable experience. even that one. So if you are here in Japan in February and you have 3 layers of clothes, definitely make the trip to Sapporo for the snow festival. You’ll be glad that you did.