20.3.13

Hokkaido: Sapporo Snow Festival

Japan, February 2013

"This is your captain speaking. According to the latest information, there's a heavy snowstorm happening in Tokyo now. We are expecting some turbulence during landing. Please fasten your seat belt..." And I can't remember the rest of his announcement as I was feeling nervous.

Then the plane started to shake uncontrollably in the middle of snowstorm. We were getting closer to the ground when a strong wind pushed and the plane tilted far to the left. I could feel the fear around me. Some thoughts were rushing into my mind while I closed my eyes. Are we going to crash? but I want to see the snow festival. Oh and I want to eat the famous ramen and fresh scallops before I die, please. Then the plane landed hard in Narita airport. Gosh ! I really hate air plane turbulence more than I hate cockroaches. But seriously, I don't understand how could I think about eating ramen and scallops during my live or die situation.

Sapporo

After 5 hours layover in Tokyo, I flied and finally landing safe and sound in Sapporo the biggest city in Hokkaido, the northernmost island in Japan. A lot of my friends asked me why I travel to Japan during winter when the weather is extremely cold? For the Sapporo Snow Festival that is ! Actually my trip to Sapporo was already fixed for my family Christmas holiday. We've bought the ticket and everything then my Dad got a stroke that we had to lose most of the expenses we've paid. As stubborn as he is, even though not 100% recovered yet, he insist to visit Sapporo before our visa expired. So there we were :)

Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri) is one of most famous Japan's winter events. It's held every February for a week. Every year, about two million people come to Sapporo to see a large number of splendid snow statues and ice sculptures which line Odori Park, the grounds at Tsudome, and the main street in Susukino. The main site is located in 1.5 km long Odori park where huge famous ice sculptures are exhibited at. They are lit up daily until 10pm. Many concerts and events are held using the sculptures as their stage. How cool is that!


mochi making ice sculpture

large ice sculpture as a performing stage

snow slides for the kids


Odori Park

my sista n hubby with my fav ice sculpture

lit up ice sculpture

Besides beautiful ice sculptures, there are ample food stalls along the Odori park. You can sample from ramen, sushi, grilled seafood, curry, grilled corn, sweets, hot drinks to beer and a lot more. Definitely too many to choose from. In some occasions during admiring the ice sculptures, I smell something delicious then follow my nose to find the source and ignoring the amazing ice sculptures :p

one of the food stall

the food seller




To see smaller ice sculptures, I headed to Susukino site where they held the ice sculptures contest. More than 100 ice sculptures are exhibited along the Ekimae-dori (Station Avenue) between Minami 4 and Minami 6. There's also an ice bar where you can enjoy some hot alcoholic beverages.



ice bar

ice sculpture with fishes in it



Love Hotel

I stayed in Susukino area which is Sapporo's largest entertainment district and also one of the largest red districts in Japan. You can see sexy girls posters and love hotels in most part of that area. But fret not! It's actually safe to walk around even at night. I visited one of the city landmark, Sapporo Raumen Yokocho or ramen alley to sample the famous Hokkaido ramen. I'm not a ramen expert but it was obviously one of best ramen I've eaten. For more details, I will write another food porn post about Japanese food :)


the famous Ramen Alley

a sexy pepper shaker :p

delicious Kaisen Ramen (Seafood) to end the chilly day

If you ask me if it's worth to visit Sapporo during harsh winter weather? I'd say abso-fucking-lutely ! Sapporo Snow Festival is one event that you should put on your bucket list. I would do it again next time when I have the chance. But maybe I'll prepare some sleeping pills for the bumpy plane ride.



This is an amateur video of the view from plane before landing in Hokkaido. I was trying out the video mode on my new camera, still not sure how to adjust. If you see some blurry parts and lost focus, don't worry.....it's not your eyes. That's just me being a dummy, hehehe :p





Tips: Make sure to wear a proper pair of winter shoes or at least slip resistant shoes since everywhere is covered in snow and very slippery. I've seen many victims fell down on the street and even a guy that has to be rushed to hospital

23 comments:

  1. Suka ngiler kalo masuk blog ini, bikin makin nafsu buat ngumpulin duit :)

    Btw kaisen ramen nya kayak nya lezat banget #ngilerrrr

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. marilah kita menumpuk pundi2 emas untuk travelling :D
      Kaisen ramennya oishiiiii banget

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  2. Always cool.. setuju sama cumi, aku justru suka deg2an kamu bakal post apa haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lahhh, kok deg2an sih, hihihi

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    2. Deg2degan, foto bagus apalagi yg bakal di post hehe

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    3. duhhhh, kamu bikin GR aja dech *blushing*

      Delete
  3. Highlight aku video yg kamu upload itu, aaaaa keren banget itu dari atas semuanya ketutup salju gitttttuuuu *pengen liat salju*

    anw suka sama si ice sculpture yang didalamnya ada ikan, hihihi lucuu banget

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. iyah, aku juga suka pemandangan sebelum mendarat. Bagus banget sampe lupa baru kena snowstorm, hihihi

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  4. Oh, I so wanted to go to this when I lived in Japan. I never made it! But your pictures look great! I love they can make beautiful art out of ice!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! you lived in Japan before? that's cool! I love Japan and how creative the people are :)

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  5. How talented some people are! That is incredible work of art with snow and ice. I admire that kind of talent. Looks like a great experience for you, thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. It's an awesome experience. Those ice sculptures are beautiful. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  6. aaahhhhkk..Jepangggg...Sayangnya next trip aku ke Jepang engga di musim dingin, but as always picsnya selalu bikin wow, kerennn :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks ya :) aku malah tiap ke Jepang selalu pas winter. Next time pengen pas musim semi ah, biar bisa liat sakura, hihihi

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  7. Deb, foto ramen and pepper shakernya asli bikin ngileerrr...sruput ramen...

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    Replies
    1. Ramennya beneran enak banget....kalo pepper shakernya sih ga tau, ga nyoba soalnya, hahahaha :p

      Delete
  8. Anonymous26/3/13 17:26

    Huhu pengen.. Bikin acara jalan-jalan bareng dong, Mbak! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. mba, jd feb itu jepang msh salju ya... soalnya tujuanku k hokkaido itu cm utk main salju sih..anakku pgn bgt... kalo di tokyo kan saljunya ga gitu bnyk ya... Kalo january udh tebel juga belum saljunya?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. menurut guide lokalku pas ke sana, di Hokkaido kadang sampe Mei pun masih bersalju. Lalu summer n sekitar september/oktober udah turun salju lagi. Wahhhh seneng banget mau ke Hokkaido. Aku juga masih pengen balik nih, Fan. Kangen makanannya :')

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  10. debbbyyy, segitu banyak toko ramen di ramen alley milihnya gimana dong? enakkah semuanya? ngiler banget... :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bingunggggg milihnya. Yang paling rame kedai pertama di sebelah kiri. Eh tapi kayaknya semua ramen di Hokkaido enaakkkk. Soalnya aku sering random milih tempat makan dan selalu enak. Jadi kangen Hokkaido :'(

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