The world-famous Sapporo Snow Festival is something you should not miss if you will spend winter in Japan as it draws millions of visitors every year.
What’s with the festival? Well, people flock for the snow sculptures, ice sculptures, and all the shows, snow activities, and food that go along with the festival which runs on a duration of around one week only and usually within the first two weeks of February.
A direct flight to Sapporo from Tokyo takes around two hours with low-cost carriers competing at low prices. The festival sites can be easily accessed from Sapporo Station, Odori Station, or Susukino Station.
The Sapporo Snow Festival has three sites. The Odori site displays huge snow sculptures. The Susukino site displays around a hundred ice sculptures. The Tsu Dome site offers snow activities aside from snow scultpures.
The Odori Site of the Sapporo Snow Festival along Odori Park starts at the iconic Sapporo TV Tower at one end and continues through every block of the park’s 1.5 km stretch. Stroll early for the shows and performances at every display especially at night for the illuminations.
Get entertained as you walk through each block of the park which features one huge snow sculpture with night illuminations and shows every few minutes. Food stalls are scattered throughout the park, too, in case you need to fuel your body as you walk.
Nearest train station: Odori Station (1 stop or a walking distance of 850 meters from Sapporo Station)
The Susukino Site of the Sapporo Snow Festival along Susukino Street starts at the corner where the iconic photo of Nikka is displayed on one end.
The huge snow sculptures along Odori Park were already amazing, but the ice scultpures were uniquely amazing, too, as you can really get very close to see the details of each ice sculpture. Start early, too, as you will surely get overwhelmed with each display especially during the night illuminations.
Nearest train station: Susukino Station (2 stops or a walking distance of 1.4 km from Sapporo Station)
Tsu Dome Site
While both the Odori and Susukino sites are very near Sapporo station, the Tsu Dome site is located 6.5 km from Sapporo Station as it offers snow activities aside from snow sculptures.
Go sliding down a snow slide or go snow rafting while enjoying the snow sculptures around the site.
Nearest train station: Sakaemachi Station (6 stops from Sapporo Station, 11 minutes, JPY250 ~ Php100)
Allocate at least one whole day to visit the three sites as the huge and creative displays can be really overwhelming and time-consuming. I recommend going to the Tsu Dome site in the morning and the other two sites in the afternoon until evening.
Make the most of your visit by enjoying all the illuminations and shows at every block especially at the Odori site. You can watch our vlog for the Sapporo Snow Festival here.
Where to Eat in Sapporo
Start your day with fresh seafood breakfast at one of the restaurants inside Nijo Market just around two blocks from the Sapporo TV tower.
We specifically ate at Donburi Chaya. Get ready for really good fresh salmon, king crabs, and more.
Address: 1 Chome Minami 3 Johigashi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0052, Japan
Sapporo Beer Garden
Have a memorable dinner at Sapporo Beer Garden by trying their Genghis Khan, a popular lamb dish, paired with draft beer fresh from their factories.
We dined beside their giant brewing kessel at their Kessel Hall and had a glimpse of Hokkaido’s history as the building where the restaurant and museum are is already more than a century-old!
You can reserve for Sapporo Beer Garden’s Crab and Lamb BBQ Buffet here.
Address: 9 Chome-2-10 Kita 7 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 065-0007, Japan
How to Go to Sapporo Beer Garden
Ride the Loop 88 Factory Line bus from Sapporo Ekimae in front of Seibu Department Store at Sapporo Station to Sapporo Beer Garden (8 stops, 16 minutes, JPY210 ~ Php100)
You can browse through Sapporo Beer Garden’s menu here.
Gotsubo Oyster Bar
Brace yourself for really good fresh oysters at this Izakaya along a narrow alley at Susukino Street.
We headed here after dinner and ordered all varieties of their oysters (based on how they are cooked) along with scallops, clams, and wine. The oysters were not only really good but also significantly cheap, too!
Address: Japan, 064-0806 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, Minami 6 Jonishi, 3 Chome−6-8 Base – 01
The Sapporo Snow Festival not only amazed me with their snow and ice sculptures and illuminations, the food we ate as we explored around were really, really good.
I will not hesitate going back if I can to explore more of Sapporo and Hokkaido. How about you? Tell me what you think about the Sapporo Snow Festival!