Winter is the best time to travel to Japan. Why is that? Well firstly, because of the great “Sapporo Snow Festival”, that will fill your photo album with countless amazing photos of gigantic snow sculptures and secondly, because winter often brings with it low flight fares and cheap flights to Japan.
The snow festival in Japan has almost become a second identity of the country. Celebrated every once a year, Sapporo Festival runs for over seven days in February. It attracts artists, photographers and tourists from every nook and corner of the world to participate in this fresh genre of arts. During the festival, although you may come across snow sculptures nearly every second place you go but the centre of concentration are Odori Park, Susukino, and Tsudome.
Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan’ biggest event that attracts more International participation than any other you can name. The International celebration of the festival started in 1974 at the Odori Park, where 14 teams from various regions participated in 2008. So far, the country has celebrated 61 Sapporo Festivals on record and in 2007, the event was attended by around two million people. Nearly hundreds of snow statutes, ice sculptures, castles, animals and personalities are presented each year at the Sapporo Festival at Odori Park and Susukino sites, in central Sapporo, and at the Satoland site. In this post-recession era, Festivals like this are major cause promoters to enhance and encourage tourism, free entertainment and an opportunity for bettering international relations.
At times, the statues represent a given theme of the year whereas; famous buildings, castles, personalities and celebrities are also carved at large levels. In 2004, there were statues of Hideki Matsui, the famous baseball player who at that time played for the New York Yankees. Mega Statues of the Laughing Buddha and Forbidden Palace also caught eye of the photographers in previous years.
Musical performances on stages made out of snow are one of a kind attraction of Sapporo Snow Festival.
Where there is snow, there is sports so skiing, ice slides and maze made of snow are great entertainment factors too.
For the coming year, there is a lot going on in Japan and the festival is getting more Global every passing day. By the end of 2010 and early 2011 Japan is seeing a rapid increase in the number of flights, arrivals and increase in routes by various International airlines. To top it up, the dates for Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 are February 07 to February 13, which means you can get cheap flights to Tokyo easily as February is a low season for flights in Western Europe and USA.