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Winter for me is not wintered if it is not very cold. I have chosen to visit one of the coldest places in Japan, Hokkaido. Because in this island north of Japan, which is located on the same latitude as Vladivostock and Siberia, winter, cold, snow and ice have been celebrated for 69 years with the Sapporo Snow Festival, an international festival where the protagonist is the snow. Which always falls very abundantly in this region. Which is pressed, compacted into huge blocks that recall marble in size and color, and then sculpted to reproduce statues, paintings, installations, even buildings.
Sapporo Snow Festival
I had heard about Sapporo Snow Festival several times over the years – generally, some Sapporo celebrating image is always shared on the news. It was a strong desire of mine, which I had cultivated for a long time, to be able to see the Sapporo Snow Festival.
Finally, I did it! Thanks to a fourth trip to Japan, I decided to plan the visit itinerary to enter Hokkaido with a visit to Sapporo’s city on the opening day of the event. I make an aside: reaching Hokkaido is no longer as complicated as it used to be: some planes connect Tokyo and other major Japanese cities with the New Chitose airport, a few tens of kilometers from Sapporo and even by train, it is no longer unthinkable as it once was: once it took a long time to reach Hokkaido from Tokyo, it was an epic journey because in addition to the train you had to take a ferry that from Aomori Prefecture ( Honshu Island ) took you to Hakodate ( Hokkaido Island)) From there, take the train back to Sapporo: at least 12 hours of travel, exhausting!
Fortunately, in 1988 the Seikan submarine railway tunnel was opened. A railway path of 53.85 is the longest submarine railway tunnel in the world. The extension of the Shinkansen super-fast train to Sapporo is planned (today). So, getting to Hokkaido today is easy and the only thing that can happen to you, especially in winter and with snowstorms, is that your train arrives a little late at its destination due to level crossings. and frozen exchanges. Hokkaido is Japan, yes, but Japan is necessarily a special Japan (climate, distance, history)!
The Sapporo Snow Festival occurs in Odori Park
A wide green strip in the heart of the city, with trees, gardens, fountains, and art installations, breaks the continuous line of buildings skyscrapers for about 1 kilometer and a half (12 blocks ). On the one hand, it ends with the high television antenna (during the Sapporo Snow Festival, decorated with millions of colored light bulbs). On the other hand with the Shiryokan, the old Sapporo Court of Appeal building dating back to 1926, now a national monument.
The Odori Park
It is also the litmus test of the different seasons: in spring, it is all a blossom of cherry trees and in autumn, the thousand orange colors of the leaves are a palette for painters. The Odori Park can be reached by one of the three Sapporo subways (no matter if the orange, blue or green line, the Odori station is one of the interchange points between the three city subways and if you start from the JR train station, the distance is one-stop, with a cost of 200 Yen).
The Sapporo Snow Festival (Japanese name: Sapporo Yuki Matsuri, where there is the word Matsuri there is always a party!) It takes place in Sapporo every year from February 5th to 12th, is free to enter, and is a mix of successful art exhibitions, amusement parks,s and fairs of local gastronomic products.
It is also a perfect showcase for promoting consumer goods and advertising. So, don’t be surprised if occasionally there will be awnings where gifts are distributed (of course, the Japanese line up neatly and wait their turn, no one elbowed. or you dream of climbing over the line!). In general, it is a moment of joyful happiness for adults, children, and grandparents.
When you visit the Sapporo Snow Festival, in addition to dressing as if you were going to ski slopes or otherwise very well covered, pay close attention to the ground: in some places, it is completely frozen – and the sidewalks are not always clear of snow – so you should wear suitable shoes, or buy crampons to remove and put to apply to the shoes (they are also found at Decathlon and cost a few dollars) or, my advice, bring trekking poles that if used well in some situations they help to be safer.
Winter is a fascinating season for many reasons: the holidays, the weather, the holidays, and gifts. For this reason, around the world, countless parties and festivals of all kinds are celebrated, ranging from concerts to carnivals, passing through urban events and sports competitions. Here we tell you five winter festivals that you have to know. On this map, we mark the location of the winter festivals in this article.
Best Winter Festivals Around the World
Ice sculpture festival
Harbin, in northeast China, is famous for its freezing winters, ranging from -13º to -25º. Here, from January to February of each year, the Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival takes place.
Its main attraction is its monumental ice and snow sculptures illuminated by colored lights. They are exhibited in four thematic areas: Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo, Harbin Ice and Snow World, Harbin Wanda Ice Lantern World, and Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Fair.
They can be up to 40 meters tall and come in endless forms, from Chinese fishermen to lanterns to Buddhas. Most of the sculptures are made with gigantic blocks of ice obtained from the Songhua River, which becomes a huge playground during this season.
The festival offers many other attractions, such as snow sports, competitions, screenings, art exhibits, light shows and much more. Enter here to learn more about the Ice Sculpture Festival Harbin, one of the world’s most beautiful winter festivals.
Sapporo Snow Festival
The Sapporo Snow Festival, or Sapporo Snow Festival, is one of Japan’s largest winter festivals, attracting around 2 million visitors annually. It takes place in Sapporo, on the island of Hokkaido, between January and February.
The event takes place in three different areas of the city: Odori, Tsudome, and Susukino. In Odori and Tsudome, you can admire the works of the famous snow and ice sculpture festival. Some of the pieces measure up to 15 meters high by 25 meters long and are illuminated at night.
Tsudome Site, on the other hand, is located on the outskirts of the city. It focuses on the fun in the snow. There you will find several attractions such as slides, an area for snow rafting, a zip line, children’s sleds, and much more. More information about the event in this link
Winter lights festival
In early February, Reykjavik, Iceland, fills with color with the celebration of the Winter Lights Festival, or Winter Festival of Lights, which celebrates both the frozen world and the arrival of light after a long period of darkness.
The festival program is a mix of events from different disciplines, such as art, industry, environment, sports, and culture, and take advantage of the great attractions of the Nordic city.
For example, one of its most popular events is the Night of Museums. Around 40 museums of the city open their doors to entertain their visitors with various events, such as dance performances, live music, literary sessions, and much more.
Another very traditional event is Pool Night, where you can enjoy several of the largest thermal pools in Reykjavik at night, totally free! Besides swimming, there is music, lights, and various activities.
In this winter event, there are also other events such as light shows, parties, cultural activities, photographic exhibitions, and poetry readings. Enter here to know more.
Mountain Trout Ice Festival
Every January, more than a million people flock to the small town of Hwacheon, South Korea, to take part in the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival – the mountain trout ice festival.
As its name suggests, the festival revolves mostly around ice fishing. Upon arrival, you will be given a fishing pole, a plastic bag, and an entry pass. Then you will have to find one of the 14,000 holes and sit and wait for your trout to take the hook.
Besides fishing, many other activities make it one of the best winter festivals in the world. There is, for example, a fishing competition in which you will have to catch a fish with nothing but your hands; ice sculptures, ice skating, traditional games, sleigh rides, and delicious gastronomy. More info here.
In late January and early February, the Quebec Winter Festival is one of the biggest winter festivals of all. It attracts thousands of visitors and offers all kinds of activities for the whole family.
The activities’ schedule is extensive, with several thousand events, but especially the evening parades, the Bonhomme Ice Palace, canoe races on the St. Lawrence River, culinary tastings, and snow baths.
The winter has arrived and we love it! Among the many activities that can be done this season, one of our favorites is the snow festivals. Therefore, we leave you a list of the most impressive in the world. You will love them!
Harbin Snow and Ice Festival – Harbin, China
This snow and ice sculpture festival is one of Harbin’s top tourist attractions, as well as the world’s largest winter celebration. It takes place every year between the months of December and February, a period during which it receives up to 15 million visitors. The most surprising is its large ice sculptures illuminated with colored lights, which can measure up to 46 meters in height.
Kiruna Snow Festival – Kiruna, Sweden
This festival in the town of Kiruna in Sweden has activities for the whole family, from art exhibitions and competitions skiing and dog sledding to areas of games for children made entirely of snow. In addition, they organize an ice sculpture contest that each year is more impressive. You cannot lose this!
Sapporo Snow Festival – Sapporo, Japan
Odori Park, Susukino and Tsudome are the three main locations for this festival in Sapporo, Japan that originated in 1950 with just six snow statues made by students from a local high school. Today, it is a great event in which it is possible to appreciate hundreds of sculptures and participate in winter activities such as snow rafting.
Ice Music Festival – Finse, Norway
This festival combines the scenery of Norway’s astonishing snow-capped mountains with the music of international artists to create the perfect winter setting. The program for this 2019 includes a concert focused on relaxation. Another focused on creating sounds with water and some more electronic music in an ice lounge.
Quebec Carnival – Canada
The Quebec Carnival is one of the most famous winter events in the world. Since its inception in 1894, it is a must for both locals and tourists. Among the highlights of the program are the canoe race, the ax throwing competition, the winter wrestling event and, of course, the iconic parade.
The International Snow Sculpture Competition
The 25th Snow Festival took place during the difficult times of 1974. Due to the second oil crisis, it was impossible to provide enough fuel for transporting the snow, which threatened the celebration festival. To solve the problem of the lack of snow, up to 800 barrels were used that were placed inside the medium and large-size sculptures, which allowed the celebration of the festival. However, concern was maintained about the possibility that at some point they would collapse. The sculptures since, by including the barrels inside, the snow would melt more easily.
On the other hand, from 1974 the festival became more international. The “International Snow Sculpture Contest” was born to deepen friendly relations with other countries. In the first contest, six teams participated representing Canada, France, South Korea, South Vietnam (the current Socialist Republic of Vietnam), the United States, and Japan, which excited the visitors with their different peculiarities. From then on, the festival grew as a great international event with the participation of other countries such as Canada, Germany, and Australia, or regions such as Shenyang (China), Portland (United States) or Daejeon (South Korea), which have close ties with the city of Sapporo, with its respective creative snow statues.
At the 34th festival in 1983, a third stage came on the scene, the “Susukino stage,” whose particularity was not the snow figures but the ice figures. These ice figures were lined up on the main street of the “red-light district” at night, gaining popularity for their beauty under the glow of neon lights. The Makomanai stage was closed in 2005, and in its current place, the second stage is the “Tsudōmu” stage, Sapporo’s community dome.
However, the same idea of promoting fun with the snow that existed at the time of the Makomanai scene has been maintained, with elements such as the slide or the snow rafting track. The enclosure was also reinforced with large rest areas and spaces to eat and a square for families. It has become a place where you can calmly enjoy the beauty of Hokkaidō’s winter. This is one of the three different scenarios that can be enjoyed on the snow festival tour.
In Japan, you can enjoy various winter activities such as snow festivals incredible. Would you like to have the coldest memory of the Japanese country? Join us on this visit! read more…
If you have a cold day event you actually have a lot of options to use. So do not worry and better check these ideas to see which one you prefer. You can copy those looks as is or build yours depending on what you have at home.
Minis and stockings
The look with stockings is still in fashion. So wear them this season with a circular or straight mini skirt, whichever you prefer. Combine stilettos or booties and also platforms. On top, wear a sweater or jacket and that will match the cold look. It is a good outfit to go to a meal, to graduation, to your friend’s birthday. I love it! It looks sensual but elegant.
Long boots are also an excellent option for these climates, as they are trending. So you should hurry to have some to show off these days. These boots go ad hoc in cold weather than in warm weather. Then combine them with a mini skirt or mid-thigh dress and a coat, sweater or jacket over it. This way you will look gorgeous and you will feel very warm. You can wear this outfit at a christening or a special breakfast, for example.
Coat and skirt
The idea of this outfit is that your coat is the protagonist; it’s almost your dress. What you wear underneath hardly matters because it won’t show. Unless you know that the sun will suddenly come out and make you very hot, then think again. If you want to wear a very short coat, they will have to be days when it is not so cold. You can wear a very long one with a fitted waist. Also, one in the pastel color that best suits your skin tone. Another option is a bright color or the typical neutral one, although I think this idea is very original and it would be better if you used an unusual color. Wow!
Coat and jeans
Another option for an event during the cold day is a coat, jeans and to make everything more elegant, some stilettos and a nice bag. With the jeans you will give a fresh touch that is offset by the coat and accessories. So you look younger and funnier but at the same time very distinguished. If it is not such a formal event it is a perfect and comfortable combination.
What do you think? Which one do you like the most?
The chilly winters bring with them a new set of skincare problems for both, men and women. Traditionally, women have been encouraged to care for their skin; change their skincare regimen as per the temperatures outside. However, in the past couple of decades, the winds have changed, with men becoming more conscious of their skin. Listed below are a few tips on how to care for your skin and hair this winter:
This is the first advice anyone will give for winter skincare. The winter air can make your skin dry and peel. Another winter problem is cracked up the skin. Invest in some moisturizing cream or lotion, depending on your skin type. Make sure you moisturize your skin twice a day to keep your skin looking refreshed and not worn out. You can grab a branded moisturizer using coupons for a lesser amount.
For those who like to keep it clean, ensure that you indulge in a little more post-shave care time. It is better to shave immediately after stepping out of a warm shower as it opens up the pores and makes the hair softer and easier to shave off. Massage the shaving gel gently into the hair for a smoother shave. Post shaving; apply a cooling balm to prevent any redness or rashness from forming which can be a common problem with dry, winter skin.
- Keep those beards looking good!
If you prefer to keep your mustache, beard, or goatee on, then these tips might help to keep it shiny this winter. Invest in a beard shampoo to help clean the beard hair and keep it healthy. Another good idea is to use beard oil to keep the beard dandruff in check as well as moisturize the hair and skin below it. Oh, yes, in case you’re wondering, beard shampoo, beard dandruff, and beard oil are ACTUAL things!
- Keep those hands healthy
Your hands are one of the most exposed parts of your body; that’s why it is important to keep them from catching the winter chill. Apply some hand cream to prevent any calluses or dry skin. If you can and prefer, wear a pair of gloves, especially if you walk to work or outside most of the time.
- Prevent chapped lips
Get a lip balm to prevent any dry, cracked, or chapped lips. Preferably get a balm with SPF so that they are protected from the winter sun too. Need another incentive to apply lip balm? Well, they come in various fragrances, so your nose will feel pleasant this winter too!
- Smell right with the right deodorant
Opt for milder deodorants as they are less likely to cause any itching. Deodorants that are hypoallergenic are available if you prefer to. Some of them even have a moisturizing component to keep the underarms from any irritation.
Not that difficult to take care of your skin, right? Now that you know how to do so, get yourself the ingredients to a healthy winter skin right away!
Until next February 11, the Sapporo Snow Festival will be held, where 194 snow and ice sculptures are exhibited. This year is the 70th Sapporo Snow Festival, one of the most popular globally, which will take place in three parts of the city, Odori, Susukino, and Tsudome. read more…
From January 31 to February 11, more than 200 ice statues will hatch all over the capital of Hokkaido. On the program, enchantment, and art of living in a Japan far from the images of Epinal.
In the game of associations of ideas, the land of the Rising Sun evokes in bulk the cherry blossoms, temples, and onsen, its famous thermal springs. Rather rarely snow. White gold tourism is however particularly developed in Japan, and in particular on the island of Hokkaido. Located in the far north of the country, it is covered in a white coat for a third of the year, with the highlight of the tourist season being the famous Sapporo Snow Festival, which takes place every winter.
The Sapporo Snow Festival, fifty years of history
The Sapporo Snow Festival ( Yuki no Matsuri, in the original version) was born in 1950, with the aim of attracting tourists to this region of northern Japan. For the first edition, students from six high schools in the city are making giant snow sculptures in Odori Park. From the end of the 1960s, foreign tourists began to pour in. Today, they are 2.5 million each year to make the trip.
For a month, professionals and amateurs compete in creativity with hundreds of snow or ice sculptures, each more magical than the next, some of which exceed fifteen meters in height. The attractions are spread over three main sites: Odori Par, in the heart of the city; the lively Susukino district, and the Makomanai military base.
This year, the festival is held from January 31 to February 11. The details of the program are available on the official website of the Sapporo Festival (in English).
Which route to take?
It is best to start your visit with the large avenue Odori, the local equivalent of the Champs-Élysées. It is there, over 1.5 km, that the various parks which house the sculptures are spread out. The classic route starts at the foot of the Sapporo TV tower and descends towards each of the parks. At night, the sculptures are illuminated, which gives them an even more grandiose appearance.
The Susukino district is home to the famous sculpture competition. It is preferable to stop there at the end of the day, to dine in one of its many restaurants. The Tsudome stadium, accessible by bus or metro, is dedicated to fun activities for children, such as toboggan runs.
There is a little American side to Sapporo, probably related to the brick architecture and the wide, straight streets. The city is one of the most famous night landscapes in Japan. The view from Mount Moiwa, accessible by cable car, is breathtaking.
The good tables of Sapporo
Hokkaido is famous for its gastronomy. With its large arable areas, its access to the sea, and its many rivers, the region is particularly rich. Miso ramen soup was invented in particular in Sapporo. Another specialty is crab, which can be eaten in several forms: in ramen, therefore, raw in sashimi or in Kaisen Don (bowl of rice with crab, scallops, sea urchins, and salmon eggs). Head to the Crab Gang restaurant for some delicious crab ramen for a rather low price.
Overall, the freshest seafood makes Sapporo a perfect place to enjoy sushi and seafood. But the specialty not to be missed is Ikura, that salmon roe served on a bowl of rice. The best place to enjoy a bowl is Umi Hachikyo Bettei Oyaji restaurant. The meal is delicious and Ikura’s service to the brim is a spectacle in itself.
Sapporo barbecues offer “Genghis Khan”, a selection of pieces of lamb cut into thin slices to grill on a griddle, accompanied by cold beer.
What to do around Sapporo?
This open-air museum is a reproduction of a typical Hokkaido village from the end of the 19th century. Between the horse-drawn tram and the traditional art shops of the Ainu, the aborigines of northern Japan, it’s a real leap in time.
Accessible by bus in an hour from Sapporo station, the Jozankei springs group together around ten hotels irrigated by local natural springs. The city is placed under the sign of Kappa, these aquatic monsters from Japanese folklore. Please note that some of the hotels close at 5 p.m., plan to arrive earlier.
The Sapporo Yuki Matsuri or Sapporo Snow Festival is held in early February in the capital of Hokkaido prefecture, Sapporo, and is one of the most popular winter festivals in Japan, bringing together more than two million visitors each year.
While it is true that winter and snow festivals were already organized in Sapporo before the Second World War, the Yuki Matsuri or Sapporo Snow Festival is relatively recent, since it originated in 1950 when six high school students began to Build six large snow sculptures in Odori Park, located in the heart of Sapporo.
Five years later, Self-Defense Forces soldiers from a nearby base joined the students and built a bunch of snow sculptures and from there the event became a tradition and became more popular, becoming what it is today. One of the winter festivals with more national and international recognition, known for the spectacular nature of its snow and ice sculptures, some of which can reach 15 meters in height.
The Sapporo Snow Festival usually brings together some 400 snow and ice sculptures. The vast majority are located in Odori Park, a hundred in Susukino, and a few in Tsu-dome. Since 1974, the festival organizes the International Snow and Ice Sculpture Competition that has the participation of several foreign countries.
As we have already mentioned, the Sapporo Snow Festival is held in three different locations: the Odori Park, the Susukino area, and the Tsu-dome area, and below we will tell you more about each one so that you can decide for where do you want to start your visit.
Located in the heart of Sapporo, the Odori Park is, without a doubt, the central location of the Sapporo Snow Festival. It is here where the most spectacular ice sculptures are built, which are around 15 meters high and 25 meters wide. Some of these sculptures are so immense that they serve as a stage for concerts and various events during the festival.
Typically, about 12 large snow sculptures and a hundred medium and small snow sculptures are built. All of them are illuminated with intense light sets (which play with the sculpture’s design) until 10 pm.
The medium and small sculpture area is very quiet and does not have as many crowds as the large mounts area, so we can visit it with much more tranquility. There we can find snowmen the sea of interesting and funny, even. And of course, there is no shortage of snow and ice sculptures of characters known in Japan such as Hello Kitty, Funasshi, or even others related to new models of shinkansen, curling competitions or other winter sports, etc.
The Odori Park area also has an area dedicated to sponsors and another area with many stalls of typical Hokkaido food and local specialties, as well as an area for ski jumps, an ice skating rink, and a play area for children.
You should have a typical Sapporo ramen burning under the falling snow while you see the illuminated sculptures, it is, plain and simple, spectacular.
If it is not snowing and therefore there is good visibility, we can enjoy a good view of the entire Odori Park from the observatory of the Sapporo TV Tower, located at one end of the park.
The second area where we can enjoy this festival is located in the heart of the Susukino district, the neighborhood for partying and with more entertainment in Sapporo and is full of restaurants, bars, discos, and karaokes.
On the main street of Susukino (Ekimae-Dori, between Minami 4 and Minami 6 streets), we will find a hundred ice sculptures carved in great detail and illuminated for the occasion until 11 pm (until 10 pm on the last day) of the festival. It is the Susukino Ice Festival or Susukino Kōri no Saiten.
And how could it be otherwise, considering that Susukino is the most nightly neighborhood in the city, with many bars and restaurants, this is where we can find an Ice Bar or ice bar, of course!
Susukino is relatively close to Odori Park, a few blocks away (or a subway stop if we don’t want to walk), so we can visit both areas in one day.
Located a little further from the city center, the Tsu-dome area is especially dedicated to families with children, as huge snow slides and specific areas are built during the Sapporo Snow Festival ‘snow rafting’. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., inside the dome, there are food stalls, games for children, and a stage with a multitude of family leisure activities.
To get there, we can get on one of the shuttle buses that leave from Odori Park or Sapporo Station or, if we feel like it, walk about ten minutes from Sakaemachi Station, the closest to the Tsu Dome.
Green Vein Kratom Strains- Introduction
Based on the color of the leaf’s central vein, Kratom strains are broadly classified into three categories, red, white, and green. Green Kratom strains are obtained from Kratom trees whose stems and leaf veins are green in color. The powder has almost the same color as that of the leaf. This strain is quite popular among users who do not want the impact to be too relaxing or too stimulating.
Different Kratom strains have different effects. The level of impact majorly depends on the alkaloid composition of the strain. Two most prominent alkaloids present in Kratom strains are:
In green Kratom strains, the concentration of 7-hydroxymitragynine lies in between that of red and white vein Kratom. This defines the moderate effects of Green vein Kratom. It is the best choice for those who are looking for an aroma that is moderately soothing and moderately stimulating.
The basic impact and properties of all green vein Kratom strains are almost similar. However, the region of their production and environment they are grown in can make a potential difference in the Kratom strain.
Below we have covered some of the best Kratom strains in the green vein category. The names mentioned are just for the informational purpose. Usage for any medicinal purpose is not recommended.
7 Best Gren Vein Kratom strains:
Green Maeng Da:
Green Maeng Da Kratom strain is considered as the most effective strain in the Green vein Kratom category. Though this strain is produced in Thailand, it is a result of the grafting technique. The strain obtained can be a result of a single Thai Kratom variety or a blend between two Kratom plants. Thus, it is for users who like Thai Kratom strain but with a higher impact.
Green Horn strain is a strain whose name is based on the shape of the leaves from which they are obtained. The leaves have horn-shaped thorns, hence the name. Mature leaves of this Kratom tree variety have high alkaloid concentration in them. This strain is quite rare. Thus, it is advisable to buy it from an authenticated and reliable vendor.
The strain is produced in Malaysia. The impact or effect of the strain on the user depends on the dosage. When taken in a small amount, this strain would give a substantial energy boost, little relief in pain, and a feeling of calmness and relaxation. However, a high dose would provide the user with a strong sense of euphoria. The effect of this green Kratom strain lasts for several hours.
Green Borneo is more potent as compared to Green Malay strain. The impact of this strain is a perfect balance between the properties of red and white strains. It is known for its pain-relieving, mood-enhancing, and high stimulating effects.
Numerous online sellers have green borneo kratom for sale. Be careful about the quality and authenticity of the powder.
This Kratom variety is a native of Indonesia. The level of the 7-hydroxymitragynine alkaloid is quite higher in this strain than its white counterpart but still lower than in red strain varieties. Thus, making it a perfect choice for those looking for strong pain-relieving effects but moderate aromatic effect. The strain is also considered an effective mood enhancer.
Green Bali Kratom strain is famous for reducing physical discomfort. The effect of this strain is quite mild. Hence it is ideal for beginners. The effect generated is a perfect blend of relaxation and energy.
Native to Thailand, improves focus, concentration, energy, and cognitive thinking. The strain might also help in soothing minor pain. It is considered as the best strain for starters.