I made my way to Haneda airport in Tokyo as I had decided to fly to Sapporo. It was all relatively easy and after arriving at New Chitose Airport, I just got the train to Sapporo. I then went to the taxi rank and got a taxi to my hotel. The way the taxi’s line up in a waiting parking bay and then move forward in turn was so cute to watch. Travel days are always a bit of a write day for me so I decided to just go get some snacks to eat in my room and do some work for the evening. That way I could feel okay to take another day off tomorrow.

On Thursday I headed off to check out the 73rd Sapporo Snow Festival. Which was one of the main reasons I had decided to come up here. This was also the festival return since Covid.

This was also my first time visiting Hokkaido, the second largest island of Japan and the most northern prefecture. I was super excited to be heading up here for the snow. I have never seen or experienced as much snow in my life up until this moment. I love it. I have discovered during this tip that snow is magical. There was no seasonal depression with snow around. It’s completely different then Melbourne’s gray rainy days.

On my way to the snow festival I walked past a shoe shop and saw what looked like a great pair of boots. I had been on the lookout for something snow appropriate to walk around in as I only now had my Vessi’s and Doc’s with me. I did a quick Google and tried to figure out my size from an online guide so grabbed what I thought it should be and headed in to try them on. We ended up dropping two sizes from what I firstly picked. They are great boots though. They also have this little flip out spike so that it helps with gripping on the icy ground a bit more. I love shoes in Japan cos they are so reasonably priced. This pair of boots set me back $38.

I went and admired the snow sculptures during the day, and then returned at night to also see them under the lights. At night there was also some other entertainment such as a brass band performing Jeremiah was a Bullfrog and Eye of the Tiger. There was also an orb with a sparkly dressed woman playing a keyboard, she played some funky electro numbers. The projection mapping on one of the large scale snow sculpture buildings was impressive. Snow is an excellent projection screen.

The next day I went and checked out the views from the Sapporo TV Tower. It was pretty cool looking out over the festival and across the city. I then just walked around and explored a bit before heading back to my hotel to do some work and pack up my things. I had originally wanted to do a day trip to Otaru but I just wasn’t fitting it in to my 2 days here as I had planned to head off to Asahikawa to also check out their snow festival. Instead I enjoyed just spending some extra time walking around Sapporo admiring the snow fall.

So that is what I did on Saturday. I was really impressed with Asahikawa’s winter festival. Even though Sapporo is the hugely talked about one, I would highly rate also coming to check out Asahikawa. I arrived in Asahikawa a few hours before my hotel checkin, which was conveniently right next to the train station. So I headed over there and just left my suitcase with them so I could go explore. I decided that this was a great opportunity and time to go suss out the festival. Down the street leading the way there were lots of snowmen with welcome signs and ice sculptures. Then the park area where the festival was held was epic! It was full of large scale snow sculptures including the epic stage. They also hosted a range of activities like sleds and zip lines.

After exploring the festival it was close to checkin time so I started to make my way back towards the hotel. I came across a Vegan Ramen place along the way so stopped for a late lunch / early dinner, and then continued on my way. After chilling out a bit at my hotel I got ready and headed out during the evening to check out the ice sculptures all lit up. I loved walking around the pretty lights as snow was falling around and on me.

Coming to the snow festivals in Hokkaido was definitely worth doing and I am so glad I got to experience snow like this.