After showing a few pics from the Tokamachi Snow Festival in my previous post, I thought I’d stay on the same topic and share a few more that I thought were pretty impressive.
The Tokamachi Snow Festival is not particularly well known. Most of my Japanese friends have never heard of it. But, each year it attracts about 300,000 people – 5 times the town’s actual population! For Tokyoites, it’s a cheaper/closer alternative to the world famous Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido. It was originally created to ’embrace’ the enormous amount of snowfall (up to 3m) the region sees, and give the locals as well as tourists something to get excited about.
Unfortunately, on the exact same weekend as when I went, a massive snowstorm swept across the country. We made it to Tokamachi with no problems, but we arrived to see most of the snow sculptures covered in snow, which was a huge shame for the artists that had spent days focusing on the fine details! If that wasn’t bad enough, the next day, we also learned that the snowstorm had shut down the train network and people couldn’t get in or out, including us! We were forced to stay a second night. We were fine with that, as it meant we could stay to watch the grand finale performance… until we heard that that too had been cancelled. So, all in all, it was just a trip to see a whole lot of snow and test how long we could put up with the cold!! We did alright, and even managed to enjoy ourselves, for the most part.