The Powderlife team is in Sapporo for the last weekend of the 63rd Yuki Matsuri (snow festival). The streets of Sapporo are bustling with people all bundled up in their warmest clothes and equipped with cameras, ready to make the most of the biggest snow festival in Japan before it’s over.
The snow and ice sculptures are as impressive as always this year, with everything from cartoon characters to sacred temples, ice slides to giant animals lining Odori and Ekimae Street. The most impressive and talked about snow sculptures of 2012 have to be the house-sized Mickey Mouse, the enormous Taj Mahal, and the crowd-favorite Snow Aquarium.
Although everyone is here for the snow and ice sculptures, the food vendors are a serious contender for the best part of the Sapporo Snow Festival. There are rows and rows of almost any type of delicious Japanese food you can think of, and you can browse and sample as you explore the festival grounds . Ramen, soba, takoyaki (octopus dumplings), yakitori, bbq corn on the cob, grilled scallops, fresh crab, roasted prawns, soup curry, chocolate banana on a stick and so much more.
But the most impressive thing throughout the whole festival experience, even more so than the 6000 truckloads of snow used to create the sculptures, are the local Sapporo girls. While the tourists are in ski pants, snowboots, and balaclavas, the Sapporo girls and braving it in mini skirts, paper-thin tights, and stiletto high-heeled boots. It was a high of -5°C today, with a low of -10°C forecasted for tonight.