We have been trying to make it up to Sapporo for a few winters now. Dustin seems to disappear for this or that training in January and February. The snow finally aligned and we were able to visit the last of the big four islands and experience yuki matsuri, snow festival.
|View from our hotel|
The snow festival is an international event and was expected to draw 2.2 million people this year. It was cost-effective to travel with an organzed group trip provided by the base. We traveled with the group, but then decided not to participate in the guided tours. We tend to like our free time and explore on our own. Because of the masses expected to convene in Sapporo during the festival, our trip was before the official kick-off. We were able to see many displays being constructed and avoided some of the crowds.
|Dustin is standing on ~8 inches of compacted snow/ice.|
The Sapporo Snow Festival is broken up into three main sites. One is designed with kids in mind and had huge ramps built for sledding. In warmer months this area is a parking lot.
|Pack up snow to make a billboard|
|Tons of snow... in a parking lot.|
We had such a good time exploring the city. Hokkaido is known for some interesting food and the four days we spent exploring the city brought a different twist on our adventures. Like freezing cold. And, oh yes, lots of snow.