Building A Snowman: Sapporo, Japan Style

Thailand’s winning sculpture: “The Ubiquitous TUK-TUK”

snowsculpture3With spring right around the corner, winter is doing its best to make sure people don’t get ahead in making their spring break plans. For those individuals who enjoy the popular winter sports, skiing and snowboarding, this is a long awaited gift. One place that truly embraces all the snow and ice it can get is Sapporo, Japan.

Sapporo, Japan celebrated its 66 Annual Sapporo Snow Festival this year from February 5 to February 11. The tradition of the Sapporo Snow Festival began in 1950 when a few middle and high school students created six sculptures made entirely of snow and ice.

Since then, the festival has become one of the largest events that Japan hosts. The Sapporo Snow Festival attracts close to 2.5 million spectators from around the globe who come to see the magnificent creations.


When one attends the Sapporo Snow Festival, they can expect to see snow and ice sculptures of all different kinds. These unique pieces of art vary in height from the smallest being around six or seven
feet high to the larger sculptures which can be as vast as 50 feet high by 80 feet wide. Depending on the team, onlookers can observe sculptures ranging from creatures to symbols and even abstract representations of feelings are present.

This year the festival had 12 teams from diverse countries and cultures competing for the title. The countries contending came from all over including Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.; even Portland, Oregon was represented. Though there were many eye-catching sculptures, Thailand was the overall winner with a sculpture of “the ubiquitous tuk-tuk”.

Thailand’s winning sculpture: “The Ubiquitous TUK-TUK”
Thailand’s winning sculpture: “The Ubiquitous TUK-TUK”

So the next time it snows and someone asks, “do you want to build a snowman”, instead blow them away by creating your own snow sculpture. If that doesn’t work, plan a trip to Sapporo and witness these masters’ in action.



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