- When will the Sapporo Snow Festival be held?
- February 4 (Tuesday) - February 11 (Tuesday and National Holiday), 2020.
Tsudome site: January 31 (Friday) - February 11 (Tuesday and National Holiday), 2020.
- How is the weather in Sapporo during the Snow Festival?
What clothes should I wear to visit the Snow Festival?
- February is the coldest month of the year, with daily average temperatures dropping below freezing.
You should wear at least three layers of clothes to keep you warm outside. Typically this means: thermal underwear, a sweater and a thick overcoat or a proper winter garment such as ski jacket. A knitted hat or ear-warmers and gloves are also recommended.
Please ensure you wear warm clothes to best enjoy the snow festival.
- What kind of shoes should I wear in winter? (Can I buy anti-slip straps for shoes?)
- Roads are often frozen over and very slippery. You will need winter boots or shoes with ice-traction soles. You can also buy "suberidome", cleats attached to rubber bands, which can be attached under the soles of regular shoes.
- Is there any admission fee?
What are the opening hours of each site?
- All the sites are free. You can visit the Odori and Susukino venues at any time. The snow and ice sculptures are illuminated until 10:00pm in Odori and until 11:00pm (until 10:00pm on the last day) in Susukino. The Tsudome site is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
- What countries are participating in the International Snow Sculpture Competition?
- Up until now, 37 countries or regions have participated in the contest including 14 teams from Asia, 11 teams from Europe, 7 teams from North America, 2 teams from South America, and 3 teams from Oceania.There are 11 teams participating this year, including: Australia, Finland, Hawaii, Indonesia, Lithuania, Macau, Mongolia, Poland, Portland (Sapporo's sister-city in the US), Singapore, and Thailand.
- Who makes the snow sculptures and ice statues?
- The snow and ice sculptures are made by the special unit of the Self Defense Force, the staff from Sapporo City Hall, local volunteers, the citizen's groups, the people from the private organizations, and teams participating in the International Snow Sculpture Contest.
In particular, the large snow and ice sculptures at Odori site are made by the special unit of the Self Defense Force and an experienced local volunteer group.
Preparatory work, including data collection, initial designs, sculpture modeling, and materials allocation, begins in September. At the Odori site, wooden frames are assembled at the end of December. In early January, snow is packed into the framework and hardened. By mid-January, the wooden frames are removed and rough cuts of the snow are made. Afterwards, the sculptors focus on meticulously carving and engraving the snow. The last step is touching up any final details and disassembling the scaffolds just before the Snow Festival starts.
- How many snow and ice sculptures are there at each site?
- There are over 200 snow and ice sculptures all together.
The Odori site has about 120 snow and ice sculptures. The Tsudome site has about 20 snow and ice sculptures. And the Susukino site has about 60 ice sculptures.
- Can anyone participate in making the large snow sculptures for the Snow Festival?
- The citizens of Sapporo, including the people from overseas living in Sapporo can participate in making the large snow sculptures. In 1987, when the 38th Snow Festival was held, a total of 1,000 citizens participated in making large snow sculptures for the first time. In recent years, large snow sculpture-making became very popular especially among the families who moved into Sapporo and foreign students. Under the guidance of the experts, this firsthand experience is sure to be a wonderful memory.
- What is the train schedule, fares, and travel time to New Chitose Airport?
- Please check the Access page for details.
- Are there any other recommended tourist attractions around the Snow Festival?
- Please check the 'Welcome to Sapporo' website for more information.