Friday, February 16, 2007

Trip Notes

'Akarenga' (literally "red bricks"), an old government building

“So how was the Snow Festival?” you ask.

Well, it was one of those things that I had wanted to do ever since I came to Japan a few years ago, and one of the things I’d regretted not having done when we moved away from Japan. So I’m very glad that I finally got there!

Unfortunately it’s been an unusually warm winter so Sapporo wasn’t quite the winter wonderland that I might have wished it to be, but some snow is definitely better than none, especially since not a single flake has fallen over Tokyo this winter. The Canadian in me was appeased! And actually, the first day we were there was snowy.

Day Two brought mostly blue skies and warmed up a bit. We headed to the fish market (pictures forthcoming), where we had lunch. Then I got to meet Brit in Hokkaido at a great little coffee shop where we chatted away a few hours. And then in the evening it was back again to the festival area to see some of the snow sculptures we hadn’t already the day before. There were probably hundreds of small snow sculptures all around but I mainly just took pictures of the big ones. And they really looked best at night, I think. (Excuse the photos, I only took a little camera and didn't have many settings to play with).

Day Three, our last day there, brought with it rain and temperatures of +5C (40F). It was really quite sad to see the ice and snow sculptures starting to melt. That being the official first day of the festival, which was to run for a week, we were in fact really glad we’d come a couple of days earlier. Under the wet, grey skies, the streets were almost clear, the snow looked a bit dingy, and based on that day, they might have had to rename it the Sapporo Slush Festival! We’ll just have to blame that on global warming! But we still had a good time and we even joked that maybe we should try again next year!


  1. Can't wait to see more pics! Especially the fish market (maybe I'm weird). I'm obsessed with food lately, so that's a big factor. :)

    Glad y'all had a good time!

  2. What a shame that it warmed up and began to rain. And how fortuitous that you arrived before the rain and were able to see the sculptures before they became slushy. Great pictures!

  3. Thanks Andi and Les. The fish market pics are coming up soon, promise.
    And yes, it really was such a shame that it warmed up so much. It really did work out well, arriving in advance by a couple of days. They were still working on them a bit, but they were mostly done. And the best thing was it wasn't too busy or crowded yet.

  4. Just wanted to say how much I've been enjoying the pictures. Those sculptures are just amazing.


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