Monday, February 20, 2012
Sapporo Snow Festival 2012
After seeing the Chocolate Factory, as I posted about last weekend, we got back on the train and went back to downtown Sapporo, Japan to see the 63rd annual Snow Festival. There are three sections to the festival: one parkway has huge ice sculptures with smaller snow sculptures in between that get judged at the end of the week, a boulevard of smaller ice sculptures that will get judged as well, and a park outside the city that had a huge slide for tubes, a maze, and other things designed to entice international travelers. This is my second time at the festival and I've yet to get to the third place but I'm not upset. I seem to have gotten less used to cold weather so I've never pushed to explore Sapporo. When I go out we usually stick to the plan and don't stay out too long. :)
Once we got to the festival, we walked as much as we could and took a lot of pictures, which are on my Flickr page, and tried to enjoy the afternoon. Unfortunately the air pressure, cold air, long work week, and long day of sightseeing got to us both and we both got headaches. Luckily mine was less than my friend's was so I still got a lot of pictures but we headed in as it got dark. We wound up eating supper at a German bar that had very little German food but the Japanese food was good and either being inside the mall or eating basically got rid of my headache while it was too late for my friend. She slept off her headache on the train and bus before we got ready for bed and she seemed better the next morning.
It was a fun visit to Sapporo, I just wish the weather was a little colder. As much as I was cold and my fingers were numb from taking pictures on my Ipod (that's what I get for forgetting my memory stick), it was rather annoying that we were there on the second day of the festival and the sculptures were already melting. A mermaid on a guy's back had lost her arm at the shoulder, we passed a freshly fallen bust of a girl the police were circling, and there was a sculpture labeled "Raising Dragon" that I would have loved to see but it was only a set of legs by the time we got around to it. However, the huge Disney scene, the animal scene, and the huge buildings were still lovely so I can't really complain.
All in all it was a fun trip and am not surprised the Snow Festival made it into my book on where to visit before you die. It is definitely an amazing place to be.