Rera Outlet Mall
Less than half an hours' drive from the Shin Chitose airport, it is an outlet mall selling clothes and with a good cafe. A good resting stop enroute from or to the airport and if you have about two hours or so to spare.
If you're not into shopping or don't need a food stop, then give it a miss. There are frequent shuttle buses connecting the mall to the airport and parking is easy and free.
Sapporo Ice festival 2006 part 2
This guy's flight into Sapporo was delayed by the same blizzard that saw us laid over in Tokyo; so he was still building his sculpture on the first day of the festival..
Love and Peace..... spread it around a little..
"Ice Fest in the dark..."
Totally different atmosphere at night, rousing music, cold cold cold, but really emotional with the live music belting out from the ice stage. Rock music japanese style.
"Wallace & Gromit visit Japan!"
That ole were rabbit sure gets everywhere..
The International Snow Statue competition was introduced in 1974 and there are now usually a couple of dozen teams participating, from as far afield as Australia and Hawaii.
"Such exquisite detail.."
Smaller ice sculptures
This sculpture was built by the 3rd snow sculpting team of the 11th Division of the JGSDF, with elements from the 18th Infantry & 11th Engineer, and the 11th Tank & 11th Signal Battalions, all from the Makomanai base.
Profile: Height 13 meters, front width 24 meters, depth 25 meters. About 2700 metric tons of compressed snow (brought to the site in 450 six ton trucks) were required. Using the ice block method, 30 different types of blocks were used and the sculpters carved about 1000 of these before joining them together to form the sculpture. 4600 people were involved over 30 days
"The Chronicles of Narnia"
One of the massive sculptures this year was of the Ice Queen and the polar bears pulling her carriage - all the sculptures are lit up with different light displays at night which usually gets turned off at 10pm. Photographs really don't do justice to these...