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  • So here we are in Hokkaido, and it's cold.

  • Why did I travel from Tokyo to Sapporo today? For this.

  • Snow festival.

  • It takes place annually in February,

  • Since 1950 attracting 2 to 3 million visitors.

  • I traveled from Tokyo to Sapporo for 9000 yen in Skymark Airlines.

  • one of Japan's budget carriers.

  • The view was spectacular.

  • Sapporo is located in Hokkaido, in Japan's north.

  • It's famous for its pristine nature and fresh food.

  • Sapporo is the biggest city.

  • The snow festival's main venue is the Odori park.

  • where I am right now.

  • So what actually is a snow festival?

  • You're about to find out.

  • It involves a lot of snow.

  • Truck loads of snow are shipped into the park.

  • Heaped up and outlined before being carved.

  • In 1955 the Japanese defense force started helping

  • with the festival.

  • A tradition that continues today.

  • The sculptures are built by local volunteers.

  • There are also citizen's sculpture areas with very unique designs.

  • There are usually 4 to 5 main gigantic sculptures.

  • There is a lot to do and see here doing the week long festival.

  • And there is also a lot to eat. I hope you're hungry.

  • Hokkaido crab is everywhere.

  • The seafood is fresh.

  • Ramen, too. This one has it all.

  • That's some amazing Ramen.

  • At the snow festival you can try it all, at a reasonable price.

  • First, let's try this.

  • Do you know what it is?

  • It's UNI! usually eaten raw, but this time grilled.

  • This is sea urchin. He said you can eat the guts,

  • It won't kill you.

  • It's better to eat,

  • This.

  • Well, that's guts too.

  • but that's the orange UNI I know in Sushi.

  • Hot, slimy and good.

  • Wao! Hotate!

  • Scallop!

  • Check that out.

  • Hokkaido scallop are huge and tasty.

  • It's grilled with a dash of soy sauce for flavor.

  • I smell something tasty over there.

  • Snow crab leg meat grilled in a half shell.

  • Honzuwai-kora-yaki, or grilled snow shell are a real treat.

  • Looks like it has a little Hokkaido butter in it, too.

  • Tender leg meat, grilled in butter.

  • Let's turn to Ramen.

  • Sapporo is famous for Ramen, but this one,

  • is coming from Asahikawa in the north.

  • Salt soup, one.

  • This is a real treat because I don't have to go to Asahikawa

  • to get Asahikawa Ramen.

  • I can do it right here.

  • Wao! Asahikawa Ramen.

  • Asahikawa's noodle are thin, hard and wavy.

  • They don't disappoint.

  • Now let's try some Sapporo Ramen.

  • It's miso based, and filled with oil to keep you blubbered up

  • for the cold winter at hand.

  • This stand is run by nearby Sapporo Ramen alley.

  • or Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho.

  • At night, festival food areas are more vibrant.

  • There is so much more to try.

  • You can really see a lot at snow festival.

  • and that includes Japanese mascots at all shape and sizes.

  • What mascot can create that terror, you ask?

  • It's Melon Kuma from Yubari City in Hokkaido.

  • and he's a real terror.

  • Bulging melon vanes.

  • and bloody teeth.

  • and even the melon kuma gifts are ferociously cute.

  • but how much of a terror is Melon Kuma?

  • some mascots wave and hug.

  • but melon kuma? bytes to show his love.

  • Want to meet him? Come to Hokkaido.

  • and bring a body guard.

  • Many sidewalks are icy. There are sand stations for use.

  • but if you want to protect yourself from falling,

  • head to a convenient store for these.

  • Ice cleats, or suberi-dome in Japanese.

  • The suberi-dome can be attached to any type of shoes.

  • with these rubber bands.

  • See the metal spikes and extra gripping on the bottom.

  • You're sure to stay on your feet with these things attached.

  • There is a lot to do at the festival.

  • This ice sculptures had promotional photos for free.

  • or larger ones for 1000yen.

  • even the Coke here looks a little different.

  • Limited edition Sapporo snow festival cans.

  • but does it taste the same?

  • It's the same.

  • There is ice skating rinks with rental skates for 500 yen.

  • There are rides, and making ice mugs and more!

  • No skill required.

  • Just because drones are banned from the area,

  • doesn't mean you can't get an aerial view.

  • There is the Sapporo TV tower for that.

  • built in 1957, at 147 meters high.

  • and I went to the top for a bird eye's view.

  • From here, all of Odori park was in view.

  • All the way to the mountain.

  • At night, the snow festival takes on a different vibe.

  • I headed back for another view.

  • Climbing the steps to avoid the lines.

  • Sapporo TV tower, above the observation deck.

  • outside, so I can get a perfect view of Odori Park.

  • and every single snow sculpture.

  • It's just amazing.

  • The snow sculptures are illuminated until 10 pm

  • The festival at night comes alive.

  • There are more people, and the energy is at its peak.

  • The clear ice and white snow becomes a canvas for color.

  • The gigantic snow sculptures are a big draw,

  • and they are all lit up.

  • Recently, projectile mapping technology has allowed the art

  • to become entertainment.

  • This one highlights the Hokkaido Shinkansen line

  • starting this year.

  • The ruins of St.Paul in Macau was another theme.

  • This is the Attack on Titan snow sculpture from Sapporo TV

  • and it is awesome.

  • Why did they choose this topic? Because it has a lot of impact.

  • You can see this big hand jaunting out, and above the town,

  • That Hulking face. Scary.

  • The Attack on Titan put on a 5 minute show.

  • every 15minutes or so.

  • Those red eyes and knuckles made the exhibit stand out

  • even more.

  • Of all the sculpture this year,

  • This one has the most impact.

  • by far.

  • Nearby is Susukino.

  • Sapporo's entertainment and restaurant district.

  • and they also host an event for Sapporo Snow festival.

  • The ice sculptures.

  • The preparation of the event go up to the day of the event.

  • The ice sculptures are quite detailed.

  • and commercially themed here.

  • This one is from Sushi-zanmai.

  • and that's the CEO in ice.

  • he routinely buys the tuna on new year's day.

  • the most expensive fish in the world.

  • I was drawn to their fish on ice exhibit.

  • There is only one word that can sum it all up.

  • Cool

  • Well, that was fun.

  • Waiting up here in Hokkaido is a lot of snow.

  • delicious food and unforgettable experience.

  • even that one.

  • So if you are here in Japan in February

  • and you have 3 layers of clothes,

  • definitely make the trip to Sapporo for the snow festival.

  • You'll be glad that you did.

So here we are in Hokkaido, and it's cold.

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Sapporo Snow Festival Experience ★ ONLY in JAPAN

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    Summer posted on 2021/02/20
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