The Yuki Matsuri (snow festival) in Sapporo, Hokaido, is one of the largest winter festivals in Japan. From food stalls and snow sculptures lining the famous Odori Park, ice sculptures running along the main street in Susukino and an entertainment area more suited to the kids at the Community Dome Tsudome grounds, there is always something happening at the festival.
The festival only lasts seven days, and we were lucky to go for two of them. According to some of my students, the festival was on the news this year for being too hot and the sculptures needing to be torn down early meaning, but luckily we were there when they were still in tact.
The festival was very easy to navigate and two of the main locations, Odori park and Susukino, were in walking distance of each other. The third site which was tailored towards kids was a short subway trip then bus ride from the other attractions. Very convenient!
My highlights include watching the snowboarding competition, slipping along the path watching the contestants of the International Snow Sculpture contest working their magic, tasting food from the all of the food stalls, and happy hour at O’neills, the Irish pub which was so authentic you forgot you were in Japan!
I definitely recommend visiting the Yuki Matsuri in Sapporo if you have the opportunity. It’s a great experience and is lots of fun!
Snow Sculptures, Odori Park
International Snow Sculpture Competition
Ice Sculptures along Susukino