Enjoy all the fun of Japan’s biggest winter festival from the comfort of your own home.

Every February, the city of Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, becomes the stage for the country’s largest snow festival, attracting millions of visitors with huge snow and ice sculptures, and plenty of food stalls and fun winter activities as well.

This year, however, with the coronavirus pandemic still posing a risk for people at large gatherings, the festival’s organising committee, along with Sapporo mayor, Katsuhiro Akimoto, decided to move the festivities online for the first time in its 71-year history.

With so much of the festival’s appeal lying in the huge displays centred around the city’s central Odori Park, people weren’t sure what to expect from an online iteration, but all has been finally revealed today, as the online Sapporo Snow Festival was officially declared open!

Festival organisers have done an impressive job of creating an online celebration that allows people from all over the world to take part in some of the most famous facets of the festival. One of the activities on offer is “Craft Fes“, which allows people to take part in online workshops with local craftsmen and women.

▼ Unfortunately, this has been so popular, it’s all already booked out.

Then there’s the Snow Sculpture Construction Report, which provides some interesting insight into how the snow sculptures are created, through easy-to-understand photos and videos. There’s even a series of video tutorials showing how to build your own mini sculptures and snow slides in a park or your own backyard.

▼ While your neighbours are making boring old snowmen, you’ll be making Jin-kun, the cute mascot that wears Hokkaido’s famed BBQ mutton dish, Genghis Khan, on its head!

The Sapporo Snow Festival Grand History Exhibition is another interesting area to explore, with a treasure trove of archival footage showing some of the huge sculptures that have wowed local and international tourists over the years.

There’ll be one or two new videos posted daily, so no matter when you drop by the festival, there’ll be brand new updates for you to enjoy. And there are also 360-degree walkthroughs of the main Odori Park site from the 2018-2020 festivals, so you can walk amongst the giant sculptures and really feel as if you’re there.

The Snow Festival With Everyone area is filled with all sorts of fun extra activities which allow you to see what else Sapporo has to offer during winter. Just some of the activities include a virtual snow festival with virtual sculptures

▼ …And an online bus tour with a bus tour guide, which will be streamed live on 6 February from midday (Japan Standard Time).

Finally, there’s the Sapporo Snow Photo Festival, an online competition which is currently open for photo submissions with a “Snow in Hokkaido/Sapporo” theme until 12 February. Entrants need to follow the site’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, include location and date details for the photo, and use the hashtag #さっぽろ雪フォトまつり (#sapporosnowphotofest), along with an extra hashtag appropriate to its category (#思い出の雪まつり [Snow Festival Memories], #北海道雪景色 [Hokkaido Snowscape], #エンジョイSNOW [Enjoy Snow]). The best photos will win Quo card vouchers up to 50,000 yen (US$473.67) and be published on the website on 22 February.


There’s a lot to see and do at this year’s Sapporo Snow Festival, which will be available online until 28 February. With the usual festival cancelled this year, this online celebration really is the next best thing to being there right now, so grab a hot beverage, sit back and click here to start your virtual visit.

Source: PR TimesOnline Sapporo Snow Festival via Yahoo! News via Otakomu
Featured image: Instagram/sapporo_snowfestival
Insert images: PR Times
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