Japan includes Philippine flag in the 70th Anniversary of Sapporo Snow Festival Posters and Official Guides
Exclusive Coverage of The Philippine Business and News by Monsi A. Serrano
It is elating to know that the Philippine flag is included in the Sapporo Snow Festival 2019 which marks the 70th Anniversary of the famous and longest running snow festival in the world and Japan’s most popular and celebrated winter events.
Also known as “Sapporo Yuki Matsuri” to the Japanese, “yuki” means “snow”, and “matsuri” means (solemn) “festival” , the said celebration is annually held for one week every February in Hokkaido’s capital Sapporo.
Started in 1950, the Sapporo Snow Festival happened when high school students built a few snow statues in Odori Park. It has since developed into a large, commercialized event, featuring spectacular snow and ice sculptures and attracting more than two million visitors from Japan and across the world.
Interestingly, most of the posters used by the Sapporo Festival in the past 70 years were mostly images of snowmen, until the later time when the creativity of the Japanese set in and developed the idea of coming up with various designs such as buildings, famous historical structures, events and figure.
One classical example of highlighting the event in Sapporo Snow Festival was when Japan hosted the first Olympics held in their country where an ice carving of running athletes was created as harbinger to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics which was known as the XVIII Olympiad and ran from October 10-24.
The Sapporo Snow Festival is rolled out in three areas namely Odori Site, Susukino Site and Tsu Dome Site, but Odori remains to be the main area because of the breathtaking view of bustling and vibrant Odori Park from the famous Sapporo TV Tower.
In the interview of The Philippine Business and News with Mr. Shinji Mae of the Sapporo Tourist Association, he said that in Odori area alone, there are more around 2 million people who visited the main area of the Sapporo Snow Festival.
Furthermore, there are 5 large snow structures, 1 ice structure in Orori according to the Sapporo Tourist Association Executive Committee representative. In the five sculptures, 2 were created by Japanese celebrities while the 3 were done by the citizens of Sapporo.
At Odori, visitors can enjoy the various master pieces created by sculptors such as famous huge snow sculptures of different images depending on what the artists’ concept. All of these are lighted daily.
Apart from the huge ice and snow sculptures, Odori also brandishes more than various sizes of snow statues, hosts several activities like concert, free photos for visitors, various food kiosks that offer not onlyJapanese food but also other food International food. The food kiosks also offer Halal food for the Muslim guests.
While the Susukino area which is also walking distance from Odori has around 60 high sculptures which are lovely to see specially at night where colorful lights illuminates both snow and ice sculptures.
In Tsu Dome Site which if more a family oriented site, there are around 5o-70 thousand estimated guests every years flocked to the area, While it may not be that popular for those who would like to witness the amazing snow and ice sculptures, at Tsu Dome kids and their families can enjoy the activities available there like snow slides, snow rafting and more snow sculptures. Inside the dome, there are many food stands and a stage for events where everyone can have fun.
On the other hand, Odori and Susukino areas are the ones that are most popular and visited during the Sapporo Snow Festival, the Tsu Dome area is worth visiting too in order to explore the beauty of Sapporo.
In closing, Shinji-san said, “The Sapporo Snow Festival is unique and 95% Japanese know about this.”
Apart from the foreign tourists going to Sapporo to witness this celebrated winter festival, Japanese tourists coming from other parts of Japan also come to Sapporo to witness the lovely celebration that keeps them deeply rooted to their heritage and culture.
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Watch the video of one of the huge snow sculpture in Odori in the 70th Anniversary of Sapporo Snow Festival