Saturday, February 8, 2014


So I don't think moving here I realized how much snow northern Japan gets. It's crazy! It's different than anything we grew up with. Because it's constantly snowing we don't get the ugly gray snow. It's beautiful, and of course cold. We knew shortly after coming that Danielle's sixth grade class would get the opportunity to visit the most famous snow festival in Japan, The Sapporo Snow festival. As soon as we could Dan and I both signed up to be chaperones on the trip. Of course the year we get here they decide to stop letting the sixth graders go after twenty-three years of them going!! So, we decided to just go on our own.
The snow festival is on the next island to the north (Hokkaido), in the city of Sapporo. To get there we decided to take the overnight ferry, an eight hour boat ride. The ferry left for Hokkaido at 10 pm.
Haha, I love how the Japanese do things. For the overnight ferry we were in economy class and they put you in a room with mats that fold out and you all sleep together in the same room! We happened to know all our traveling companions so the kids thought it was great having one giant sleepover. You can rent blankets to use but they keep the boat so hot you hardly need them. Our coats worked just fine.
The ferry got in early, about 5:30 am, and then we had to board a bus to take us into Sapporo. We were a little tired.
Sapporo is the fourth largest city in Japan, quite a bit different from our sleepy Misawa. Once we got off the bus it was a few blocks to the snow festival.
We were a little bundled up.
I've seen pictures of the snow festival online but nothing does it justice. It is truly a sight to behold! So, so, cool!
Ice slide.
Riding the subway.
We took a lunch break and lingered a while to let the kids defrost and rest their legs and then walked 7 or 8 blocks to the ice sculpture displays.
Yeah, that's real ocean life frozen in the ice. Rayce wanted to know how they did that.
Poor Avie Jo's little body would not stay warm, we had her layered up as much as we could and she was still cold.
Finally, we headed back to the snow festival to see it at night before we had to catch the ferry home. The kids were done walking around.
I wonder what the snow festival will have up their sleeve when Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020?
If I'm being completely honest I'd have to say that was one of the most exhausting trips we've ever taken but, I would do it again next year with out hesitation. It was so incredible, the Japanese put on some amazing festivals! Can't wait for the ones that are in warmer weather!


Reagan Family said...

That is amazing!! So beautiful!

Linsey said...

It was so cool! Hope all is well with you guys!