The Sapporo Snow Festival, one of Japan’s largest winter events, attracts a growing number of visitors from Japan and abroad every year. Every winter, about 2 million people come to Sapporo to see the hundreds of beautiful snow statues and ice sculptures which line Odori Park, the grounds at the Self-Defense Force Base in Makomanai, and the main street in Susukino.
For seven days in February, these statues and sculptures (both large and small) turn Sapporo into a winter dreamland of crystal-like ice and white snow. The Snow Festival began in 1950, when local high school students built 6 snow statues in Odori Park.
In 1955, the Self-Defense Force joined in and built the very first massive snow sculpture, for which the Snow Festival has become famous for now. The Festival has grown from these humble beginnings to become one of the biggest and most well known of Hokkaido’s winter events. The Show Festival is considered to be a festival of international-caliber.