Enroute to the airport, this is an interesting stopover if you have 2 to 3 hours to spare. It is basically a farm market where you can buy seeds, gardening tools and decorations. Something worthy of mention is its park with metal structures (very artistic) and an enormous tomato plant.
The Sapporo Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri)
"Cold and Beautiful"
I took a 2 day trip to Sapporo back in February of 2000 to see the Sapporo Snow Festival. I flew from Niigata Airport and Arrived in Sapporo about an hour or so later.
It was colder than Niigata, but the nice thing is that the snow wasn't wet like Niigata's snow (so it wasn't slushy).
This is really a trip worth taking. A lot of people (from all over the world) put a lot of time into making these snow sculptures until they are torn down at the end of the festival.
It was a very sunny day and I had to keep my sunglasses on the whole time. The glare from the snow was pretty bright.
Some sculptures looked like crystal. At night they were illuminated with lights that changed every few minutes.
"Made by the Japanese S.D.F."
At this time the Japanese S.D.F. (Self Defense Forces) weren't that busy so, they had time to build this gorgeous sculpture. My favorite.
"If you go you'll see something new"
Each Snow Festival is unique and each sculpture has a life for only as long as the festival itself. If I could I might like to go every year just to see what they'd make the next time.
"Yuki-jo (Snow Castle)"
This may very well be the shortest lived castle in Japan.
The day after the last day of the festival, I had a chance to watch them begin tearing down the sculptures early in the morning.
Sadly, they started with my favorite one first.
Only pictures and memories can immortalize the time and energy that went into these works of art.
And being there made the experience that much more special.