61st Sapporo Yuki Matsuri- Odori site

14 02 2010

Odori Park in the middle of Sapporo runs along about 12 blocks and was filled with snow statues.

We started at block 11 and looked at all the International Snow Sculptures. 15 teams from around the world competed in the 37th contest, including teams from very non-snow countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. NZ was represented, but no Australia.

Indonesia’s snow statue was a detailed Hanoman Duta.

Block 12 held small snow sculptures made by the citizens of Sapporo. Unfortunately they had lost some of their detail and melted in parts (they had been made a week earlier) but it was still fun to walk past all the cute statues, like mameshiba (edamame and other little beans) and rilakuma (relax bear). Also here was an International Food Stall area with America’s offering being spam burgers and a combined Greek-Mexican stall.

The first huge snow statue we saw was Chibimaruko-chan in block 11. Standing at about 15m high, the statue was of characters from the popular TV show about school children in class 4.

The next block contained a statue of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Victory Parade. The Ham Fighters are Hokkaido’s baseball team that won the Pacific League last year. As the guide book said “It was very glad news for Hokkaido in which a too bright topic was not located. It is a top of Japan this year.”

Block 8 contained the Baekje Royal Palace of Korea large snow sculpture. The sculpture was of the centre palace (Junggungjeon) and measured 18m high, 25m wide and 330 m2 area inside. It took 4500 tons of snow from 750 6-ton dump trucks of snow, with  3,900 people working 29 days to make it.

Block 7 contained the Dresdner Frauenkirche from Dresden, Germany. It was built in 1722 and is considered a prime example of European baroque architecture. However, it was bombed during the war and only recently rebuilt in 2005. The snow statue was 26m high, 28m wide, involved 439 trucks of snow and 4730 sculptors.

Next up in block 5 was the Iolani Palace from Honolulu, Hawaii. It was an ice sculpture that was lit up at night time. When we went past there was a rock band playing in shorts and t-shirts even though the temperature was well below 0.

At the same time as the rock concert on the Iolani palace stage, there were young girls singing pop songs karaoke style on the “The Place Where Dreams Come True” stage – yes, a disney snow sculpture advertising disney sea and land.

There was an impressive large snow scuplture on block 4 of “The Zoo of the northland” with white bears, a snow leopard, penguins, orangutan, wolves and a Steller’s Sea Eagle.

Opposite the animals was a snowboard jump platform. Throughout the day they had competitions were boarders (and skiiers) jumped off the 24m jump and did tricks.

Down to block 2 where there was another large ice sculpture of winter sports – skiing, snowboarding, ski jumps and ice hockey. As the brochure says, “expressed movement that the throb feeling overflows in the background in which nature in Hokkaido was imaged with the relief of ice.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

During the day a girl played Michael Jackson songs on a synthesizer inside a polygonal glass bubble whilst wearing silver gogo boots in front of the statue.

Finally, in front of the Sapporo TV tower, was an ice skating rink. What fun!