Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival
It's time for an... ice wedding at this annual winter wonderland in the heart of a national park.
- Jan. 24 to Feb. 16, 2020
- 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Illumination from 4:30 p.m.)
You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to another world as you wander around these surreal frozen abodes.
Enjoy sculptures, ice skating, and more
During the ice festival, the lake’s water is used to create a huge range of stunning ice sculptures. The statues glisten blue under the sunshine during the day, but at night they’re illuminated in a host of bright colors forming a magical fairytale kingdom. You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to another world as you wander around (and even inside) these surreal frozen abodes.
The sculptures are the main attraction, but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy during your visit. Glide across the ice rink, go down the ice slide or go for a horseback ride. To take it up a notch, pledge your eternal love for your significant other with an “ice wedding.”
As with any good festival, you can also find plenty of local food and drink stalls. Warm up with a bowl of oden (a classic Japanese soup), hot soba, and udon noodles.
On weekends and holidays, there are additional events including powerful taiko drumming performances and spectacular fireworks displays. After an evening of chilly fun, you can relax in any of the nearby onsen (hot springs). It’s the only suitable honeymoon for an ice wedding, really.
Want more icy winter festivals? Check out our list of the Top 10 Snow and Ice Festivals in Japan. Brrrr.