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Sapporo Snow Festival

Join the most popular winter festival in Japan in February.

  • Feb. 4 - Feb. 11, 2024
The Sapporo Snow Festival, or Yuki Matsuri, is a must-see if you are in Japan during the winter, and is even worth planning your trip around.

Every February, Sapporo, in the country’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, is the site of the week-long festival. It sees a lot of snow in winter and—as a city with a lively vibe—is the perfect venue for Yuki Matsuri.

Larger than life sculptures.

The Snow Festival features hundreds of snow and ice sculptures ranging from big to down-right enormous. Sapporo City’s Odori Park is where the main event takes place. Visitors can take a short walk from Sapporo Station and be entertained all day and night.

Each year, people come to Sapporo to make creative snow and ice sculptures, often based on pop culture. In the past, fan favorites have included carvings dedicated to Star Wars, Final Fantasy, numerous anime characters, and more.

Among the intricate artwork made from snow and ice are pathways lined with food stalls with everything from meat skewers and fresh seafood to “hot milk” (a Hokkaido special), plus live performances ranging from J-Pop to rock.

Photo by: Victoria Vlisides 2017 Snow Fest: PPAP!

The multi-day festival’s popularity has skyrocketed, especially among foreign tourists and especially on the weekends. However, it comes from humble roots starting in 1950 when a few high school students made snow sculptures, according to the official site. Despite just six statues, the festival ended up drawing a crowd of 50,000! In 1955, the Self Defense Force joined in to help make the massive sculptures you still see today.

Before you go

The Snow Festival has three sites, with Odori Park being the main one to see snow sculptures. Odori Park also has illuminated snow structures so you can see them at night until 10 p.m. The second is the Tsudome site, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and has tons of activities like snow rafting and is great for families.

Photo by: Alfie Blincowe A snow sculpture at the 2018 Sapporo Snow Fest.

Last is Station Avenue (Ekimae-dori), which has beautiful illuminated ice sculptures. These are usually open for viewing until 11 p.m. and 10 p.m. on the last day of the festival.

Sapporo 2013: Illuminated snow sculpture The Land of Ice ~ Princess of White Wings.


Most people stay in Sapporo city, but you may need to branch out a little depending on how early you book it. Reasonably priced accommodation—like hostels and Air BnBs—book up months in advance, so plan early. Some may end up staying in Chitose City, which is closer to New Chitose Airport. However, it’s 30-60 mins away from Sapporo, depending on the train you take.

Photo by: Victoria Vlisides 2017 Snow Fest: Final Fantasy!

While you’re in the Sapporo area, it’s worth heading out of the city after you get your fill of the snow festival, which you could easily enjoy for at least two days. You can also sightsee in the charming port town of Otaru, with its lighted canal and amazing onsen, or Jozankei for skiing and even more onsen.


A Guide to the Sapporo Snow Festival

Headed to Japan's most popular winter festival this year? Or thinking to book a last-minute trip? Here's a guide for what you need to know before you go.


Things To Know

Language Support

There are temporary tourist information center at Tsudome, Susukino, and Odori sites at the Sapporo Snow Festival. Supported Languages: English ・Chinese ・Korean ・German ・French ・Italian ・Spanish ・Portuguese ・Thai ・Indonesian ・Japanese.


Entrance to the snow fest is free!

How To Get There


Nish 7chome Dori, Ōdōrinishi, Chūō-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaidō 060-0042, Japan

By train

From New Chitose Airport station take the JR “Rapid Airport” line 37 minutes to Sapporo station.

By bus

From the airport, take the New Chitose Airport Limousine Bus toward Sapporo for about 1 hour from Shinchitose Airport Bus Stop to Odori Koen.

By plane

Fly into New Chitose Airport in Chitose City. Rental cars are also available at the airport. Checkout a tourist info. desk near the JR ticket counter (midori-no-madoguchi) in the basement floor of the airport. Information can be provided in English, Chinese and Korean.

By foot

From Sapporo station, walk about 15 minutes to Odori Park.

Where To Stay

Alphabed Inn Sapporo Odori Koen
  • 7-20-2 Minami 1-Jo Nishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0061 Japan
  • ¥21,700 - ¥25,400
  • 4.6/5 (100 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Koko Hotel Sapporo Odori
  • 6-8-1 Minami 1-Jo Nishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0061 Japan
  • ¥7,000 - ¥45,000
  • 3.91/5 (197 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Hotel Resol Trinity Sapporo
  • 5-3 Odorinishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0042 Japan
  • ¥11,500 - ¥62,000
  • 4.35/5 (2,650 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
Wyndham Garden Sapporo Odori
  • 7-7-1 Minami 2-Jo Nishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0062 Japan
  • ¥14,000 - ¥20,000
  • 4.31/5 (193 reviews)
  • 0.3 km
Tmark City Hotel Sapporo Odori
  • 7 Minami 2-Jo Nishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0062 Japan
  • ¥9,975 - ¥21,423
  • 4.21/5 (402 reviews)
  • 0.3 km

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