Friday, February 11, 2011

Sayonara, Snow Fest

Well, Yuki Matsuri, it's the end of the road for us. You've given me three years of massive snow sculptural wonders, overpriced-yet-irresistible grilled seafood, seas of Chinese tourists, justifications of ¥500 ($5.50) cups of hot wine, ooohs and ahhhs, and plenty other festival goodness, and now it's time to say goodbye:

While not nearly as impressive as two years ago, when Japan's Self Defense Force was in-charge of your gargantuan creations, the chance to showcase some of Hokkaido's nature and city life is always appreciated:

As are choco-bananas, hot wine, and shell-grilled scallops (and you know it's just not a festival without them):

If it weren't for you, Yuki Matsuri, how would we ever properly pay tribute to feudal Japanese architecture, as well as such classics like "The Lion King," in snow? And where else could we see (badly) singing girls in short skirts dancing on an ice stage?

And oh, your steamy-dreamy food courts and funny-because-of-the-price souvenirs...all the fools who think that Snow Festival edition Coke doesn't scream winter best just be heading right back home:

Quick question for ya, Yuki...why is it that the Southeast Asians are always the BEST snow sculptors? What exactly do they practice with, anyhow?

Now I have to admit, your sister festival just down the street, the Susukino Ice Festival, doesn't mesh well so much under a plethora of snow like you do.

When the weather does clear up a bit, however, she sure is gorgeous (don't hate me, Yuki, but I think I might like her just a little more than you...I mean, she spruces up her temples a bit with suspensions of frozen marine life for our mouth-watering amusement):

And although it's not strictly limited to your winter festival time, how-oh-how-oh-how I will miss the steaming meat and mushroom manju buns (hot, steamed, bread dumplings) from this little manju in town:

It's true...downtown Sapporo just seems a little more "fresh" after a light snow fall and a welcoming festival romp:

Yes, Yuki Matsuri, you and I have had a good run of it over the past years, and as I retreat back into the warmth of my home-cave, I realize that my camera and I will always have a touristic heart for you. All the best with this global-climate-change-thing, Crystal

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