The train ride from Aomori to Saporro was supposed to be an opportunity for me to pass out and catch up on nap time. But…I just could not keep my eyes off the outside world. Perfect blue skies meant the countryside we travelled through was lit up in the most glorious of ways. The sun bounced off the snow and made everything look so quietly stunning, as family’s slept drapped over each other all around me I felt like I was the only one alive, the silence from the inside of the carriage made me imagine I was travelling through a dream, truly a winter wonderland. I arrived into the Saporro terminal with my eyes burning from starring at the white world, images of the breathtaking scenery have been stored in my memory for ever. What a way to start a weekend…..no sleep and burning eyes!
Every winter, about two million people come to Sapporo to see the hundreds of beautiful snow statues and ice sculptures which line Odori Park, the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and the main street in Susukino.
For seven days in February,these statues and sculptures(both large and mini) turn Sapporo into a winter dreamland of crystal-like ice and blinding white snow.
This place blew me away, the sheer size and extreme detail of all the sculptures was truly amazing. Hours of slavery and skill was pumped into every little carve. The ice sculptures twinkled in the sun (and began to drip a bit because of the unusually warm day) and the gigantic snow sculptures stood tall and strong, overpowering the crowds scurrying below them. It was impossible to walk around the parks, myself and Sonomi spent hours just laughing our heads off at how disabled it made us, all you can do is clamp on to each other and slip along (on your bum if you’re desprite), no grip just solid sheets of ice to walk on. There is a hospital set up just for the Snow Festival to deal with the hundreds and thousands of slip victims! Thank god for the big crowds as it meant the bodies surrounding you held you up for 90% of your skids.
Dusk fell and we caught most of the snow sculptures at twilight before catching a ‘street car’ and heading off to dinner with Sonomi’s cousin and uncle.