While our local mountains’ snow levels are being washed away by a consistent stream of rain and warmer-than-normal temperatures, there is no shortage of the white stuff this week in Sapporo, Japan as the city begins its annual celebration of snow – and the pictures are sure a sight for sore eyes.
This time every year, the Sapporo Snow Festival draws millions of people to Sapporo to see hundreds of intricately detailed snow sculptures and to participate in snow-themed cultural festivities.
The festival features an International Snow Sculpting Contest with teams from 12 countries around the world – unfortunately, there is no team from Canada this year – and tobogganing, live music, food and of course, the viewing of over 200 snow sculptures.
6,500 five-tonne trucks of snow is transported to the three festival sites throughout the month of January from locations in and around Sapporo. Winters in the city are generally very cold and snowy, with annual snowfall accumulations of roughly 19 feet.
The first Sapporo Snow Festival was held in 1950 and became internationally-known in 1972 when Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympic Games. In 2014, 2.4 million people attended the festival.
Pictures of the event are streaming in through social media, and the sights are amazing. The biggest attraction this year is “Snow Star Wars”, approved by George Lucas’ Lucasfilm Ltd.
Maybe when they’re done with all that snow, they’ll ship some over to us!
— Demilked (@demilked) February 6, 2015
— thinkgeek (@thinkgeek) February 6, 2015
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— Peter Payne (@jlist) February 2, 2015
Sapporo Snow and Ice Festival in Hokkaido, Japan pic.twitter.com/wkJdqPhp3H
— Earth Pics (@_earth_views) February 1, 2015
— Condé Nast Traveler (@CNTraveler) February 6, 2015
— Inquirer Group (@inquirerdotnet) February 6, 2015
— Greg (@ochimusha108) February 6, 2015
— zoomingjapan (@zoomingjapan) February 5, 2015
— WAS Classics (@WAS_Classics) February 5, 2015
— All Nippon Airways (@FlyANA_official) February 5, 2015
— japan-guide.com (@japanguidecom) February 3, 2015
— takekawa miki (@miki113t) February 2, 2015
Sapporo Snow Festival⛄ Coming soon! pic.twitter.com/2pjppzhC22
— Fumika Tamura (@fumika_tamura) February 2, 2015
Featured Image: Ikururo via Flickr