Sapporo is in northern Japan. It is freezing there (which, as Chris reminded me, is a good thing since they have the snow festival)! But as many of you know, I don't do well in cold weather, so I took as many layers as I could complete with long underwear, heavy socks, boots, two coats, scarves, hats, gloves and the wonderful invention of body warmers that I strategically placed all over me. I was good to go!
This snow festival isn't just in one location... it is all over Sapporo. Each town had their own snow festival and displays. Some were bigger than others, but they were all very interesting. Many of them had ice candles and snowmen throughout the town. The first place we visited when we arrived had tunnels and caves made of ice and snow.
|The workers meticulously making the yummy cookies|
After the tour I got to do something I have always wanted to try... glass blowing! It is much harder than you think and the language barrier only made it more difficult. But my instructor was super patient (he had to start my glass over three times because it kept hardening on me) and funny! I think it turned out well, but I don't think I'll be changing professions any time soon! Here's a few pictures of the process:
|Laughing at my lack of glass blowing skills|
|Shaping the vase|
|Making the opening|
|Yes, those are frozen crab, fish, flying fish, and scallops!|
|The row of ice carvings in the middle of the town|
|This ocean scene was my favorite one.|
|Japanese castle, complete with a performing girl band!|
|Look at the lights!|
|Walking up the slide with our inner tube|
|Headed down the slopes!|
After we played for a while, we took the bus back to town and went to the top of the Sapporo TV Tower for a view of the entire festival.
|A view from the top... you can see the city of Sapporo, the sculptures, and the amazing snow covered mountains!|
|The entrance to ramen road|
|Crab, scallop, and corn ramen... yum!!|
|The many ramen places we had to choose from|
|I know what you're thinking: "I didn't think Stephanie knew the Japanese symbol for crab."|
And dug right in...
|My friend and her daughter ordered this and was kind enough to give me some legs|