Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sapporo Snow Festival Part 1: Odori Park at Night

Last Friday, Jonathan and I flew to Sapporo to go to the Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival). We flew from the Chubu International Airport in Nagoya. It was a pretty neat airport!



We wore masks on the trains and plane to avoid catching anything before our trip. I had been wearing masks all week because they had been required at most of my schools to help prevent flu. I'm not sure how effective they are really, but there weren't too many absences at my school so maybe they work.


Jonathan had some sushi for lunch and I had onigiri and a potato koroke.



We didn't get anything from Starbucks, but it looked cute! :)

The flight to Sapporo was a bit under two hours. Then we had to take a train into Sapporo and a subway to our hotel, Toyoko Inn Susukino Minami.


My room was HUGE. It had a bigger "kitchen" than my apartment.




It was the biggest Toyoko Inn room I've ever had, but it was also the oldest. It was still very clean though. It was awesome!


I had a view of Family Mart, which we visited several times.

While Jonathan was getting ready to go out, I watched wonderful Japanese television.


 Go is so thrilling! Ummm... not really. Not at all.


I watched an infomercial for Genie Bra for a while and was super amused. Why was a guy in the ad? He was way too excited about it. That girl in the middle looks pretty amazed too, lol.

We headed out as it was getting dark.



Such a creepy karaoke place! 

I think it took us about 20 minutes to walk to Odori Park, the main site of the Yuki Matsuri.



The horse sculpture was kind of neat, but I was even more amused by the ad with a giant horse.



The smoking area surrounded by an ice block wall was really neat. The next day we saw it lit up with different colors and a lot of kids were wanting to go in there lol. I wanted to go in there!



Ooooh sparkly!!!


The Star Wars sculpture was my favorite!  Later we saw it lit up and they played sounds of lightsabers and Darth Vader's breathing. I don't really like most Star Wars movies all that well, but I still like a lot of elements of Star Wars. Princess Leia is cool, Darth Vader is a cool villain, and lightsabers are just awesome.

Also, the Star Wars sculpture was made by the army. They always do some of the large sculptures at the festival.


That Nintendo ad was really cute. I would love to see a large Mario themed sculpture. 


That one was Alice in Wonderland themed, but I didn't really get it. Who is that? An Alice one should be cute and have Alice and bunnies or something. :)


The ice sculpture of Taiwan Hsing Tian Kong in Taipei (I had to look that up in my festival brochure) was really neat. It was especially cool lit up at night.


So much detail! And rainbowy! :)


I really liked the Manila Cathedral (in the Philippines) sculpture. The detail was amazing.  


As we walked around we were getting hungry and there were a ton of booths, but it was so cold that we didn't want to have to hold anything. Those long fries looked good though.



The Kasuga Taisha Shine (I've been to the real one in Nara) was also built by the army and it was also awesome. I think the army does the best job with the sculptures.


They were doing some lighting tests and it was neat when they lit up just the windows.



The Sazae-san (an anime that has been going on since 1969) sculpture was ok. I'm not into those characters and it didn't have enough detail to impress me. In the brochure it looks like maybe it was supposed to have a bit more detail. I wonder why they changed it.


Some groups were still finishing up their sculptures for the international competition. It was neat to see them working on the sculptures but I didn't envy them at all. I hate working in the cold!


Snow Miku! They were already sold out of a lot of merchandise, but that was ok because I didn't see anything at that booth that I really wanted. I ended up getting a folder at another booth for 300 yen later. 


Soooooooo sooooooo cute!!!!!


Snow Miku vending machine! The picture on the side is the same as on the folder that I got. They had a drink with special packaging that I later got at Family Mart. I didn't get it then because I didn't want a cold drink!


The Snow Miku sculpture was a small and simple, but it was one of my favorites just because it was so kawaii. :)


When I passed my camera to Jonathan to take that picture my camera got dropped. :( But it actually fixed a button that hadn't been working before. Unfortunately the next day the camera just completely broke. The lens is stuck. :( It has been a great camera though. It actually got dropped four years ago at this same festival when I fell on some ice. I was surprised that I didn't break it then!


Then we went through the area of local snow sculptures. Most were pretty good and others weren't so great, but they were entertaining.


Some of them looked like they were getting a bit old. They looked like maybe they had gotten rained on or something.


There was no shortage of Yokai Watch sculptures. That anime is HUGE here right now.




Haha, Anna and Elsa were creepy!


Then we made our way back towards the tower. Along the way I got a cup of hot wine. I was amused by the paper cup with handles.




Then we went up in Sapporo TV Tower, which I'll write about in the next post.

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