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What’s so Special About... The Sapporo Snow Festival?

Now in its 72nd year, we realised there must be something about the Sapporo Snow Festival that draws visitors back year after year. We took a trip to Hokkaido’s capital to find out.

Starting over 70 years ago, when local high-school students built a few snow statues in Odori Park, the annual Sapporo Snow Festival has now grown to fill three festival areas – Odori, Susukino and Tsudome sites. This famous week-long event offers spectacular snow and ice sculptues, performances and more to the two-million visitors who flock in each February.

So, what is it about the Sapporo Snow Festival which draws in so many visitors every year?

Sap Snow Festival
Find incredible ice sculptures in Sapporo during the festival

Odori Site

Located in the centre of Sapporo and the main part of the festival, Odori Park offers incredible snow sculptures, gourmet offerings including Hokkaido-specialities, an ice-skating rink and amazing dance and music performances set on an ice-stage. The Odori Site, spanning 1.5km, is open at all times, illuminated between sunset and 10:00pm.

Susukino Site

Located in Hokkaido’s largest red-light district, the Susukino site is a themed sculpture area. Expect to find a show of fantastic ice sculptures made by competitors for the Ice Sculpture Contest. Feel free to visit the plaza, have hot drinks in the ice bar, or even climb or ride on some of the ice sculptures (we saw mini steam train following an ice track on our wanders!)

Tsudome Site

Further away than the other two sites, but still very popular, Tsudome offers children and adults alike ice attractions including slides, snow rafts, snowball challengers and more. Discover delicious Hokkaido gourmet offerings in the indoor booth, with the entire area open from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily.

Thinking of visiting the Sapporo Snow Festival? Why not check out Explore Day Tours and make your trip easier by booking your own private vehicle and driver for the day!

Book a Sapporo Day Tour

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