Translated by MATCHA_En
5 Superb Snowy Sights And Snow Festivals - Only In Japan! 2018 Edition
Some of areas in Japan have heavy snowfall during winter. This article introduces the Sapporo snow festival, the Iwate snow festival, the Kenrokuen Garden Yukitsuri festival, and other wonderful snow festivals in Japan with videos.
Written by MATCHA-PR
Snow Festivals - the Highlights of Winter in Japan
Snow falls heavily in some of the areas in Japan in the winter. It is true that snow may cause traffic jams and other damages, but it also creates the natural stunning scenery that becomes the incentive for wonderful snow festivals. In this article, we will use videos to introduce a series of snow festivals and superb views created by snow.
Sapporo Snow Festival
Sapporo Snow Festival is a snow and ice festival held at several sites in Hokkaido, like Odori Park in Sapporo. Held annually at the beginning of February, the Sapporo Snow Festival is an occasion to see amazing snow statues in various sizes.
This is one of the biggest winter events in Hokkaido, gathering more than two million people from all over Japan every year. The main site of this festival, Odori Park, exhibits five big snow structures which can be considered buildings, as well as about one hundred other snow statues. Small snow statues are created by citizens and some of them are created especially for the snow statue competition.
You will be amazed at the beauty of the statues and at the delicate art work made of snow, which is harder to shape than ice. Making use of projection mapping, images are being projected onto the large snow statues, resulting in shows that are getting more and more popular lately.
Address: Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo, Odorinishi 4
Date: February 5th-12th, 2018
Official Website: Sapporo Snow Festival
Iwate Snow Festival
Iwate Snow Festival, held in Koiwai farm, Iwate prefecture, is Iwate's special feature of winter. Plenty of events are available throughout the festival such as stage shows and firework displays, attracting more than 300.000 people.
The snow statues which you can get to see, touch and play with, the Jingis-kan or Japanese grilled mutton dish which you eat inside the dome-shaped snow house, as well as the food stands that offer local dishes are all elements that boost the festival atmosphere. Once it gets dark, snow statues are lit up, giving the area another type of charm than the one you can feel during the day. The firework display is also one of the things you shouldn't miss!
It is the largest snow festival in Honshu, the main island of Japan, lasting for about 10 days. What's more, participation to this festival is free!
Address: Iwate, Iwate, Shizukuishi, Maruyachi 36-1
Date: February 14th-18th, 2018
Official Website: Iwate Snow Festival (Japanese)
Kenrokuen Garden Yukitsuri
Kenrokuen Garden is a garden that used to belong to a feudal lord in the Edo periodand is nowadays recognized as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Located in the center of Kanazawa city, this garden can be enjoyed its beauty in all seasons. In winter, the trees are protected from heavy snowfall using a device called yukitsuri, a feature that attracts many local and international tourists.
Yukitsuri is a special technique used in the Hokuriku region to prevent tress from heavy snows by securing the branches with ropes. The technique used in Kenrokuen is called "Ringotsuri". They started doing this yukitsuri inspired by the shape of the Karasaki pine, which is the strongest pine in Kenrokuen. Five poles are attached to this pine and about 800 ropes are used to hang on the limbs. The garden is lit up (during a specific period), allowing the visitors to enjoy a spectacular night view.
Address: Kagawa, Kanazawa, Kenroku-cho 1
Date: November 1st - mid-December
Official Website: Kenrokuen Garden
Mukonage - A Local Festival in Niigata
An event called "Mukonage" ("throwing the son in law") is held in Matsunoyama hot springs resort located in Tokamachi, Niigata prefecture. "Muko" means "son in law", while "nage" means throwing away. The Mukonage festival has 300 years of history and is based on a story about a father who took revenge on the man who stole his daughter (got married to her) and took her to another village by throwing him into the snow. After the "mukonage" event, a ceremony called "suminuri" is held. The son in law who was thrown away as well as citizens and police officers paint each other with ink while shouting "Congratulations!".
This event is held as an attraction in order to gather travelers and photographers rather than keeping the traditional customs. Nevertheless, it brings a lively atmosphere to the small snow village.
Address: Tokamachi Matsunoyama Yumoto／Matsunoyama Hot Springs Yakushido Shrine
Date: January 15th, 2018
Official Website: Mukonage
Zao Juhyo Tour
Juhyo or hoarfrost on a tree is the winter feature seen in Yamagata prefecture. White ice covering whole trees becomes natural art formed by snows containing moisture from the Sea of Japan. The frozen trees are also called "ice monsters" as they keep changing their shapes. Looking down to the landscape from the cable car that runs above the valleys of Mount Zao allows you exiting views. The best period to see this wonderful landscape is from January to the end of February.
Address: Yamagata, Yamagata, Zao Onsen 229-3
Best time: late January - early March
Official Website: Zao
Enjoy These Exciting Japanese Winter Events!
How did you like our selection of winter events? We introduced snow festivals from Sapporo and Iwate, as well as the yukitsuri in Kenrokuen and the Mukonage festival, in which sons in law are thrown away into the snow in Niigata. We also mentioned the frozen trees - the natural beauty created by snow and nature. Are you tempted to travel to any of them? All of these festivals and destinations are amazing! Why not pay a visit?
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