Suit up and see Sapporo’s Snow Festival
It’s that time of year again! Get ready to freeze your toes off in awe of enormous snow sculptures and shimmering ice creations, while clutching a hokkairo and stumbling through mighty snow drifts in Japan’s chilly northern outpost city of Sapporo.
The 62nd annual Sapporo Snow Festival kicks off on Monday, February 7, and continues until February 13. This year’s festival, held at three sites around the city, boasts about 250 snow and ice sculptures viewable around the clock, and also offers food stalls, live music, attractions for kids, and souvenirs galore.
For tips on how to prepare, see our Sapporo Snow Festival survival guide.
Entry is free, though flights and hotels book up fast. In addition to domestic favorites JAL and ANA, low cost airlines like Airdo and Skymark offer bargain airfares, or if time permits, take a bullet train as far as Aomori and change to an express train up to Hokkaido.
Lovers of train travel can also take one of the country's last sleeper trains from Tokyo to Sapporo, a 16 hour marathon that brings back to romance to traveling north.
Seafarers can also reach Sapporo from Tokyo by ferry, but it's only recommended for the curious or those keen to get away from the crowded masses.
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Odori Park, stretching from 1-chome to 12-chome, and Susukino’s Ekimae-dori, from South 4 to South 7, and Sapporo Tsudome: 885-1, Sakaemachi, Higashi-ku. Tel: +81 (0) 11 211 2376