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The Sapporo Snow Festival, One of Hokkaido's Most Popular Winter Festivals

This article features a video from nippon.com, titled "Hokkaido Sapporo Snow Festival: Colorful snow and ice art with digital technology" (北海道「さっぽろ雪まつり」:雪と氷の芸術がデジタル技術で色彩豊かに).

The Sapporo Snow Festival shown in the video is a large-scale event that represents the long, harsh winter in Hokkaido.
In fact, it is one of the three largest snow festivals in the world and is very popular overseas, attracting many visitors to Japan every year.
It's a winter festival that truly represents Japan and is also recognized around the world.

Odori Park, on the main street of Sapporo, is lined with snow sculptures of various sizes, and in recent years, a new way of exhibiting them together with projection mapping has become incredibly popular.
At night, the streets of Sapporo are lit up with snow sculptures, and during the festival, the city is covered with the colors of the Sapporo Snow Festival.

An Overview of the Sapporo Snow Festival, Its Features, and Highlights!

This video shows the 2019 Sapporo Snow Festival, named "Susukino Ice World 2019."
The Sapporo Snow Festival is an event with a long history that celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2019.
What makes the Sapporo Snow Festival so special is that it has the snow sculptures of people who stood out from the crowd that year, such as Naomi Osaka, the first Japanese athlete to achieve such incredible feats in tennis.
There's also Helsinki Cathedral and other large-scale snow sculptures.

The biggest highlight of the 2019 Sapporo Snow Festival was the artworks made with AR (Augmented Reality) and other digital technology.
The large horse racing snow sculpture (5-chome East Snow Square), which can be seen from 0:47 in the video, and at 1:12 of the video, you can see a collaboration snow statue of Hatsune Miku and Kasumi Toyama (4-chome STV Square).

Let's now take a look at some of the highlights of other venues in the order they appear in the video.
[0:22~] Shiroi Koibito PARK AIR Jumping Hill
[0:31~] Food stalls at the 6-Chome Citizens' Square Food Park
[0:40~] RED BEAR (a popular freight train of Muroran Railway) at the 8-chome snow HTB Square
[1:00~] Skating rink in front of 1-chome J:COM Square
[1:29~] Susukino Site illuminated with lights

As shown in the video, the Sapporo Snow Festival takes place at several venues simultaneously.
There are also various other snow attractions and Hokkaido gourmet treats to be found around the venue!
In addition, from early February every year, tours of several snow sculptures across Japan are organized.

The History of the Sapporo Snow Festival, a Popular Event With Overseas Travelers

The Sapporo Snow Festival is said to have started in 1950, when local students from middle school and high school made six snow sculptures.

It attracted huge attention as a very popular event with approximately 50,000 people coming to see the snowball fight and carnival, and it has become a regular winter event in Sapporo, growing larger with each passing year.
In 1959, the Self-Defense Forces participated for the first time.
2,500 Self-Defense Force personnel were mobilized to create a large and elaborate snow sculpture.
The sculpture was entered in the International Snow Sculpture Contest and received coverage from foreign news outlets, which led to the Sapporo Snow Festival being recognized as a global winter festival.

Nowadays, the charm of the Sapporo Snow Festival is widely known in English through video sites such as YouTube, and it has become a major event that attracts many international visitors every year.
The history and materials related to the Sapporo Snow Festival are displayed at the Sapporo Snow Festival Museum located at Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill in Sapporo.

Summary of the Sapporo Snow Festival, a Winter Tradition in Sapporo, Hokkaido

In 2019 and 2020, efforts to introduce the culture and history of the Ainu, an indigenous originating in northern Japan, began.
The 1.5-kilometer-long Sapporo Snow Festival 2019 featured a traditional Ainu food experience restaurant and FEEL AINU STAGE, where visitors could dress up in traditional Ainu clothing.

For the latest information about the upcoming Sapporo Snow Festival, please visit the official website of the Sapporo Snow Festival at the Tsudome (Sapporo Community Dome) website.
※The above information is based on information from the website as of 2020.

【Official Website】Sapporo Snow Festival Official Website
https://www.snowfes.com/english/

【Tripadvisor】Sapporo Snow Festival
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298560-d8820354-Reviews-Sapporo_Snow_Festival-Sapporo_Hokkaido.html

Written By
Dec. 22, 2021
Japan
児玉 勇(Yu Kodama)
A writer who loves Japan and yakitori
The Sapporo Snow Festival Popular Among Overseas Tourists! The Pure White Snow of Nature and Colorful Projection Mapping in the City of Sapporo, Hokkaido, in a Brilliant Competition!
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