Hokkaido winter festival


Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Jozankei Onsen, the 2017 snow light path is held at Jozankei Shrine from February 1 to 5. Many candle are lite up from the main gate all the way up to the shrine, creating a warm and romantic feeling in a cold winter. The event begins at 6pm till 9pm. All candles are lite up manually so if you get there early, you may even help out in lighting up the candles. Transportation to Jozankei Shrine: There is a bus no. 7 and 8 that goes from Sapporo Station to Jozankei. Simply get off at Jozankei Shrine. It takes about 1 hour depending on the traffic and road condition.

Hokkaido is one of the most exciting place to be in Japan during winter! Not only it is one of the best places for ski, onsen, crabs and ramen, the beautiful and fun winter festivals make it more fun and interesting. Between end of January and middle of March, visiting Hokkaido is a lot more fun. You may taking photos with the impressive ice and snow sculptures, enjoy the outdoor festival atmospheres, and play various game and rides. It’s great for families with children, too!

From 29 January to 21 February 2016, Lake Shikotsu is turned into a winter wonderland with ice sculptures made by spraying fresh water from the lake. If you want to experience a variety of Hokkaido ice festival without having to travel far from Sapporo, this festival is a good option.

On the coldest day in my last Hokkaido snow festival trip, I took a long bus ride from Sapporo to Sounyko which meant to be 3.5 hours but turned out to be 5.5 hours! At least I got there and settled in a hotel with hot-spring. That’s nice! Locating in a hot spring area in Daisetsuzan, the largest national park in Hokkaido, the Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival is an interesting ice festival occupying 10,000 square meters of open space by the riverbank. Evening is the best time to visit when the venue is illuminated with colorful lights. Firework starts at 8:30pm every night and lasts about 5 to 10 mins. There is a small entrance fee of 300 Yen per person. The event will be held from January 23 to March 27 in 2016.  It is recommended that you stay over in Sounkyo and combine a trip to Asahiyama Zoo for the penguin parade and Asahikawa Snow Festival. Soukyo is only 1.5 hours away from Asahikawa by bus. There are some scheduled buses that run between Asahikawa and Sounkyo. And some hotels in Sounkyo offers…

What makes Hokkaido winter festival interesting is that there are so many sites to visit. And they are all unique and charming in a different way. The Sapporo Odori Park is the main site featuring over a hundred snow sculptures, the Susukino Site specilizes in ice sculptures, and the Tsudome Site is suitable for families. Otaru is more spiritual than commercial, many snow and ice objects built round town features love, couples, and starlight. Otaru is one of my favorite cities in Hokkaido that I almost always visit every time I travel there. It is only around 35 minutes away by train from Sapporo, making it possible to go for a day trip. The main attractions are within walking distance: the fish market, a charming old harbor port with a beautiful canal, and historic buildings. Very easy to work around. During the low season, the area offers a quaint atmosphere. The annual Otaru Snow Light Path event is held every year around the same time as the Sapporo Snow Festival so that visitors can go to both places at the same time. In 2016, the event…

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