Japan boasts a number of attractions but one of the most unique is the Sapporo Snow Festival held in February on the island Hokkaido. A theme guide on lonelyplanet.com explores the snow festival in the article; Sapporo Snow Festival.
“There is nothing wabi, sabi or shibui (hallmarks of the classic Japanese aesthetic) about an endearing but clumsily put together backyard snowman; to see snow finessed into an object of beauty, you need to get along to the Sapporo Snow Festival.
Each year at the beginning of February (Japan’s coldest month), Sapporo, the capital of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, attracts a cavalcade of international visitors. They come to watch the city morph into an opaline dreamworld and marvel as the streets become a kabuki-style Disneyland of glittering monsters and ice-maidens, gods and demons, palaces and pyramids. Today more than two million people flood the streets of Sapporo in February, waiting for the frosted statues to appear.
The combined result of all this carving and sculpting, usually lit up at night with coloured lights, is a spun-crystal dreamscape of fairylights and magic. The main boulevard is spangled with hundreds of statues, some as large as houses (come to think of it some are houses) and over the years the festival has showcased frosted versions of the Statue of Liberty, the Great Wall of China, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Pyramids of Egypt.”