We spent our day in Sapporo viewing the massive snow sculptures at the Snow Festival (さっぽろ雪まつり) that lined O-dori Park in central Sapporo.
Hokkaido is a popular destination for Chinese, Korean, and Russian tourists. There seems to be a surge in visitors from China due to a popular Chinese romantic comedy being set in Hokkaido. To cater to these tourist, half of the massive snow sculptures featured a Chinese historical landmark, including the half-size replica of the beautiful Temple of Heaven. Since it was the Chinese New Year holiday, there were especially a large number of tourists from China.
Lady has a tail
Nice hat, guessing Russian.
Other sculptures featured a near full-scale replica of the Hiunkaku (飛雲閣) pavilion of Nishi-Honganji (西本願寺) in Kyoto. The real pavilion is closed to the public. The Nishi-Honganji sculpture was constructed by Japan’s Self-Defense Force, who are now out in full force helping the earthquake and tsunami victims, and cooling down the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The chi-dejika mascot in front of Nishi-Honganji, a play on words of chi-deji (地デジ) – digital terrestrial broadcast (chi is terrestrial and deji is short for digital) – ka is for deer, promoting the elimination of analog TV broadcast in July – better replace with a digital tv.
Another featured the popular animated characters from Sazae-san (サザエさん), celebrating its 65th anniversary.
International snow sculpture competition area
A miniature steam train that was really powered by coal.
Hokkaido delicacies such as crab and scallops were everywhere.
Nice smoking area.
A snow board ramp