Perhaps not too surprisingly, this one was my favourite.
Hikone is known as a castle town of Ii Naosuke and the fief of Ii family which yields three hundred fifty thousand koku of rice. The first feudal lord of Hikone, Ii Naomasa firmly established the fief which he received from Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu for his contribution to win the Battle of Sekigahara. Fourteen generations of Ii family ruled Hikone during the Edo period. The construction of the castle began in 1604 by the order of Ii Naotsugu, the son of Ii Naomasa, and the donjon was completed in 1607. Today, the donjon of Hikone castle still stands by the northeast shore of Biwako lake. It was designated a national treasure of Japan in 1952 and the year 2007 marks the 400th anniversary of its completion. This three-story donjon was constructed in a watchtower-style. Although it is relatively small, the splendors of the donjon, including various types of intricate gables such as Karahafu gable and Chidorihafu gable, undoubtedly deserve to be a national treasure. A snow statue of Hikonyan, the mascot of “National Treasure: the 400th anniversary of Hikone Castle” also stands on the right side of the snow sculpture.
*Blurb from the Snow Festival website.