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Asahikawa Winter Festival 2021

Feel the atmosphere of the Hokkaido's second largest winter event

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva
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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).

The marvelous Asahikawa Winter Festival takes place in early February and lasts for about a week. While Asahikawa may not be able to brag about having Hokkaido's biggest winter festival, it is undoubtedly home to enormous snow sculptures.

Each year, one massive sculpture is made as a stage for music and other performances, and every year this construction has a different theme. In 1994, the giant sculpture of a Korean fortress even made it to the book of Guinness World Records as the most massive snow construction ever built.

Asahikawa Winter Festival occurs in two different places around Asahikawa city: Asahibashi Site and Heiwa Dori.

The Asahibashi Site, besides the Asahibashi Bridge and not far from Tokiwa Park, is considered the main location where you can find the most fun winter activities. This is the place where the giant snow sculpture can be found. The other winter attractions at the festival site differ from year to year but usually involve numerous smaller snow sculptures, snowmobile rides, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snow slides, and an ice bar. The festival's opening and closing ceremonies, including fireworks, also occur at the Asahibashi site.

The festival's second site, the Heiwa Dori pedestrian street, leads over approximately 0,6 mi (1 km) from the Asahibashi Site. There you will meet over 50 ice sculptures to be judged in an ice sculpture competition. For the first days of the event, the sculptors are seen at work there, and after the sculptures are left on display. The sculptures look incredibly alluring throughout the evening as colorful lights illuminate them.

World Ice Sculpture Contest at Asahikawa Winter Festival  2020
World Ice Sculpture Contest at Asahikawa Winter Festival
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