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The Sapporo Snow Festival is a famous festival held annually in Sapporo, Japan over seven days in February. Currently, Odori Park, Susukino, and Tsudome are the main sites of the festival. In 2009, it was held from February 5 to February 11.

The festival is one of Japan's largest and most distinctive winter events. In 2007 (58th Festival), about two million people visited Sapporo to see the hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures at the Odori Park and Susukino sites, in central Sapporo, and at the Satoland site. The festival is thought to be an opportunity for promoting international relations. International Snow Sculpture Contest has been held at the Odori Park site since 1974, and 14 teams from various regions of the world participated in 2008.

The subject of the statues varies and often features an event, famous building or person from the previous year. For example, in 2004, there were statues of Hideki Matsui, the famous baseball player who at that time played for the New York Yankees. A number of stages made out of snow are also constructed and some events including musical performances are held. At the Satoland site, visitors can enjoy long snow and ice slides as well as a huge maze made of snow. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of regional foods from all over Hokkaidō at the Odori Park and Satoland sites, such as fresh seafood, potatoes and corn, and fresh dairy products.

Every year the number of statues displayed is around 400 in total. In 2007, there were 307 statues created in the Odori Park site, 32 in the Satoland site and 100 in the Susukino site. The best place to view the creations is from the TV Tower at the Odori Park site. Most of the statues are illuminated in the evening. The Sapporo Snow Festival Museum is located in theHitsujigaoka observation hill in Toyohira-ku, and displays historical materials and media of the festival.
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Travel, Japan, Festivals, Ice Carvings, Sapporo

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review by . February 11, 2010
posted in Go Japan
Winter Wonderland
The recent snow hazards in DC area reminds me of how global warming has created havoc to global climate and the inconveniences others have to put up with the increasing amount of snow. However, there is one place or may be two that must be pleased with that extra amount of snow. Yes, the city of Sapporo in Northern Japan & the city of Harbin in Northern China. These are 2 cities in the world that has annual festival of snow and ice carvings every Winter. Sapporo for a mere 7 day while Harbin …
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