Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sapporo Snow Festival

It doesn't snow much in Tokyo, but it does in Hokkaido! Up there, they are starting to prepare for the Sapporo Snow Festival coming up in February. The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan's largest winter events. It has been attracting many visitors from Japan and abroad every year.

Many come to Sapporo to see the hundreds of beautiful snow statues and ice sculptures which line up along the walkways of Odori Park, the Community Dome Tsudome, and the main street in Susukino. The statues and sculptures are made with tons and tons of snow. It does snow in Hokkaido but it doesn't snow that much! So where do they get the huge amounts of snow? Every year the snow is transported from fifteen locations in and around Sapporo between the beginning and end of January. Last year, the amount of snow transported for the festival was equivalent in volume to 7.490 five-ton truckloads.

Beginning in the late 1940s, this year marks the 60th Sapporo Snow festival. Every year sculptures are carved by many artists from all-around Japan. The artists direct military personnel and volunteers to carve the amazing snow masterpiece. Every sculpture and statue is breath-taking. They are made with the smallest details and they look so real, it's almost impossible to believe. Also, some sculptures portray the events that have taken place during the year. So for the year 2008, they are planning to display the gold medal winners from the Beijing Olympics.

It starts on February 5th, 2009 and ends on the 11th. It's only for a week and the admission is totally free! So what are you waiting for?

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