Tuesday, February 10, 2009

雪祭り The Sapporo Snow Festival!

Despite battling unusually warm weather and partial melting (followed by sculpture-covering blizzards), Sapporo persevered with their magical snowy wonderland for the 60th year now!

The showpieces of the festival are, of course, the amazing snow sculptures which take days and many bodies to construct.  Probably the most popular of these behemoths this year was the Disney Dreams sculpture, built to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland:

In addition to the giant sculptures, there are also hundreds of smaller sculptures designed and carved by school groups, individuals, families, and the community.  Would something like this even be possible back home without succumbing to the "artistic" hands of vandals?

One of my favorites...the Build-A-Snowman site in what appeared to be a reproduction of Siberia (note both diagonal and vertical snow)!  Snow storm at a snow festival...BLAGH!!!!!

In my opinion, the night time is really when the entire festival is at its most photogenic:

In the Susukino (すすきの) district, the Ice Festival is on display as well, with about 100 intricately carved frozen wonders:



I LOOOVE the cow in the bowl of ramen noodles...yes, those are REAL ramen noodles frozen in there:




And I have to end with the shot of an amazing nikuman (meat-stuffed bread dumpling) shop I found tucked underneath a parking garage thanks to a snowy stroll through Susukino.  Doesn't the steam and burnt-out lights just BECKON you over for some hot meat lovin'?  Always good after a tromp through the snow, and a grand 'ol time at the Snow Festival.


Katharine said...

I guess it's the American in me, but I definitely want to leave my artistic mark on those pristine white statues. Especially if I was equipped with the physiological means to do so. I'd write a big yellow KAT on the side of that Disney Dreams statue.

P.S. The one with the frozen fish was def my favorite!

ThiessenTwosome said...

Here, here, sista! Those sculptures are a little TOO pristine...ha! Too bad any type of graffiti over here warrants an arrest and public shame! Ha!

I put up a few more ice sculpture pics for your fancy...I though you would appreciate the whisky bar...

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