I wouldn't usually take a ten hour train ride to a city experiencing sub-zero conditions, but I made an exception this week to go to the Sapporo Snow Festival.
It was more than worth it. Not least because the hotel had a massage chair in the room. But mostly because it was an amazing spectacle. Here's some pictures:
A Japanese castle
An underwater scene
Underwater scene at night
Characters from Japanese cartoon 'One Piece'
The Taj Mahal
My favourite kawaii character, Rilakkuma
A games controller
A dragon being carved
A crashing wave being carved
Peacock ice sculpture
Bear ice sculpture
Fish frozen in ice
Suntory Whiskey ice bar
Sapporo Beer ice sculpture
There was loads more too...
Whilst in Sapporo I was reading about the snow and ensuing travel chaos back in the UK. Now, given that I was somewhere you kept seeing bikes in this condition...
...and that I'd got there without any delays, even though this was the view out of the train window most of the way...
...well, 'embarrassing' comes to mind!
I particularly liked this from my local paper:
(click on the picture to maximise)
Attention. Only make essential journeys. There has been a 'smattering' of snow.