It is the coldest month of the year in Japan at the moment. Hard to believe for us as we are swimming and enjoying summer here in the Southern Hemisphere. The city of Sapporo is located in northern Japan on the island of Hokkaido, and has a reputation for beautiful, powder snow. Sapporo hosts an amazing Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri) and for seven days from February 5th to 11th is transformed into a winter wonderland. Yuki Matsuri began in 1950 when local high school students built a handful of snow statues in Odori Park. Now, people travel from all over the world to compete in the competition and view the spectacular sculptures.
Snow sculptures can take up to a month to build. The process involves bulldozers, cranes, wooden scaffolding and a leage team of people sculpting the snow. Traditional Japanese themes and buildings, Anime characters, world landmarks and many more sculptures can be seen. Some are lit up at night time, others are large enough to walk inside. Should you visit Japan in February, the Sapporo Yuki matsuri is definitely worth adding to your itinerary.