65th Sapporo Snow Festival 2014

SapporoFestival8

By Materialscientist (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Sapporo Snow Festival in 2014 marks the 65th year of this spectacular ice sculpture display. It is one of Japan’s most popular winter events held one week every February in Hokkaido’s capital, Sapporo.  The Snow Festival was started in 1950, when high school students built a few snow statues in Odori Park. It has since developed into a large, commercialized event, featuring spectacular snow and ice sculptures and attracting more than two million visitors from Japan and across the world.  It is staged on three sites: the Odori Site, Susukino Site and Tsu Dome Site.

The main site is the Odori Site in Sapporo’s centrally located Odori Park. Exhibited there are the festival’s famous large snow sculptures, some measuring more than 25 meters wide and 15 meters high. They are lit up daily until 10:00 pm.  Besides about a dozen large snow sculptures, the Odori Site exhibits more than one hundred smaller snow statues and hosts several concerts and events, many of which use the sculptures as their stage.  The Sapporo TV Tower provides a good view over Odori Park, which stands at the eastern end of the park and is opened from 9:00am to 10:30 pm during the festival (from 8:30 on the weekend). The top observatory deck admission costs 700 yen per adult. A day and a night visit can be purchased for 1000 yen per ticket.

The Susukino Site, exhibits about one hundred ice sculptures. This site is located only one subway stop south of Odori Park. The ice sculptures are lit up daily until 11:00 pm (until 10:00 pm on the final day of the festival).

You can find three types of snow slides and snow rafting in the less centrally located Tsu Dome Site.  It is a family oriented site which features more snow sculptures. Inside the dome, there are many food stands and a stage for events. The Tsu Dome Site is open daily from 9:00 to 5:00pm.

Panda Travel ® first brought spectators from Hawaii to this year’s event and it was such a memorable time we decided to do it again next year.  The festival’s popularity has enabled us to offer a second package to our customers.  Come join us to see some of Japan’s most talented sculptors put their work on display for the world to see.  Package details can be viewed at http://www.pandaonline.com/asia-packages.  Want to join our tour and not from Hawaii, no problem.  Our dedicated staff can help with those travel arrangements.  Email us at:  packages@panda-group.com

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