Sapporo Snow Festival: A Day of Sculptures and Good Food

Sapporo Snow Festival
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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.
Sapporo Snow Festival
Amazing snow sculpture of a government building! Can you tell me what it is?
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.
Sapporo Snow Festival
Winter sports enthusiasts do some exhibitions here during the Sapporo Snow Festival.
Odori Site
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. 
Sapporo Snow Festival
The Sapporo TV Tower! The first block of the Odori Site starts here on one end.
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)
Sapporo Snow Festival
Prepare to watch animations at each block as the huge snow sculptures come to life at night!
Sapporo Snow Festival
One of the night illuminations among a number of amazing snow sculptures at the Odori site. The sculpture tells of an animated story every 15 minutes!
Susukino Site
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. 
Sapporo Snow Festival
Look at the details of those ice sculptures! Make sure to stroll on time for the night illuminations!
Sapporo Snow Festival
The ice sculptures of the Susukino Site of the Sapporo Snow Festival starts at this corner where Nikka is.
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)
Sapporo Snow Festival
One of the amazing ice sculptures along Susukino Street during the Sapporo Snow Festival. Those creatures are real!
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)
Sapporo Snow Festival
The sculptures are displayed for a competition!
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.
Sapporo Snow Festival
Around a hundred ice sculptures like these are displayed along Susukino Street!

Where to Eat in Sapporo

Nijo Market
Start your day with fresh seafood breakfast at one of the restaurants inside Nijo Market just around two blocks from the Sapporo TV tower. 
Nijo Market Breakfast
Start your day with a fresh seafood breakfast like this at Nijo Market in Sapporo!
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
Nijo Market
Good breakfast with friends at Donburi Chaya at the Nijo Market.
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.
Sapporo Beer Garden
Dinner over Genghis Khan and Sapporo Five Star with friends.
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.
Sapporo Beer Garden
Dine with friends at the Kessel Hall right below that brewing kessel which was built way back in 1912!
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.
Sapporo Beer Garden
The Sapporo Beer Garden and Museum building since 1890!
Gotsubo Oyster Bar
Brace yourself for really good fresh oysters at this Izakaya along a narrow alley at Susukino Street. 
Gotsubo Oyster Bar
We had these really good and fresh oysters paired with wine at the Gotsubo Oyster Bar!
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
Gotsubo Oyster Bar
Oysters and wine with friends. The owner gave us free pieces of oysters, too!
Gotsubo Oyster Bar
Finding Gotsubo was quite challenging for us. Look for this sign on the first floor of a building along the narrow alley.
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. 
Sapporo Beer Garden
Sculptures, good food, and history. You can have all these if you spend a day in Sapporo. How much more if you stay longer? 🙂
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!

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