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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.
Camping tents come in numerous dimensions and also with a wide range of alternatives depending on your individual count ranging from a 1 person camping tent to a family size camping tent. It’s a good suggestion to choose one that is made for around 2 or more people than necessary since a lot of camping tent suppliers size their house away from house for really little excess area other than sleeping bag loaded to sleeping bag. And also, tents generally don’t have much for “other” gear, i.e. clothing, bathing commodities or shoes.
There are 4 basic designs.
( 1) An A-Frame is light-weight, freestanding, basic construction with great ventilation. These kind camping tents usually rest 2 or 3 people, but floor space is not fully used.
( 2) Dome have a tent post structure as well as are created with light-weight textile. They fast and easy to establish and also use guy ropes as well as stakes to stabalize the camping tent. The inside location of these camping tents are large.
( 3) Passage have actually fabric extended over a series of hoops producing a passage. These camping tents are preferred with hikers because they withstand high winds and also inclement weather if bet appropriately.
( 4) Framework are normally the larger family members camping tents with some having multiple areas for privacy given by a divider in the tent or a vestibule simply outside the sleeping location to enable added space for storing gear or an extra sleeping area. This kind is typically huge and uses individual ropes to hold the tent throughout inclement climate. Because of their dimension, this type tends to be bulky as well as heavy to transfer but roomy for a big team.
Consider what sort of environment you’ll be utilizing your tent which will determine the product utilized by the producer. For instance, if you’re just mosting likely to use your outdoor tents during the cozy climate, you’ll desire a light-weight one. If you intend on camping in all weather conditions, you should think about a one that can manage heat to snow and cold temperatures. There is likewise a tent that is created 3 periods, Springtime, Summertime as well as Loss and also could quite possibly stand up to light snow.
Air flow is an important factor for your camping tent so you may intend to be worried about the variety of mesh doors, home windows and/or a mesh top for watching the night skies together with a cover if required due to harsh weather. As well as, speaking of stormy weather condition, some camping tents include a fly around doors and/or home windows to safeguard the within from getting wet. Likewise, for severe climate, you should take into account whether the tent has a tub framework on the floor covering which is a flooring that continues up the sides of the tent 6″ to 8″ as well as reinforced or water-proofed floor joints that will help keep the inside of the outdoor tents completely dry if it ought to rain.
When we ended last, we were safe in Tacoma and the Xmas holidays were fast approaching. I guaranteed you that we would let you know how the Motor Home handles freezing climate.
Lessons in Cold Weather RVing:
It was December, yet temperatures below freezing in Tacoma are uncommon. So, when the temperature level the opening night there got down right into the 20s (-9 C) we were completely captured off guard.
Right here’s what took place:
The hose attaching us to water froze
The plastic pipe leading to the fresh water storage tank froze
The gas/propane heater ran a lot of the night
I require to tell you, our Rexhall Aerbus is a high quality motorhome and all the pipes are confined and also access is with a secured exterior container. We thought that would suffice if the temperatures came down to cold or simply below. Reality is, had is only been a couple of levels below freezing, we possibly would have been ALRIGHT. The issue was that it got more than simply a little below freezing!
Lesson # 1 – How to Maintain Pipeline From Cold
If your water links or any of your water lines are exposed to the outside, even temperatures just below freezing can ice up and also crack your lines. Even if your lines and also load points are enclosed in bins or compartments, if those areas are not heavily insulated as well as warmed, just having the sewer line or water tube turning up with a gain access to opening can generate the freezing temps and problems … as we discovered initial hand.
Our basic remedy was to cover a heat tape with a constructed in temperature level sensing unit (concerning $20.00 US) around the revealed pipelines and valves. We got it from the neighborhood hardware store. It’s the kind indicated for outside or crawl space water lines. It looks like an electrical extension cord that has no plug at the end.
When we are in a location that has possible cold temps, we simply plug the warmth tape right into our full connection power box via an added expansion cable (sturdy) as well as the sensor looks after turning on when required.
That’s all we needed to maintain the bin and connections from freezing. We do not attach the water hose pipe in freezing temperature levels, we just fill up the fresh water container as needed. If you were staying in one location for the winter season, you could utilize one more warm tape as well as some insulation wrapped around it on the tube to keep your pipe from cold also.
For boondocking or dry outdoor camping, you might likewise pack the compartment full of insulation or greatly shield your outside water lines to keep them from cold in all but the coldest of temps.
Lesson # 2 – Warm Guns and also Plastic Water Lines Do Not Mix
My dad had a warm gun he made use of for heat diminish on wires and also home windows. We decided to use that to warm up the pipelines as well as obtain the water pump working once again.
Well, utilizing the heat weapon was an excellent suggestion, we simply really did not know just how warm and also how quick it could work. Instead of simply slowly warming the entire area, I made the blunder of blowing directly on the plastic water lines.
In less than 2 minutes, I had heated up the plastic water line so well that it became soft and also with the water line pressurized from the pump … It created a bubble much like bubble periodontal and popped.
I was lucky, my daddy had actually simply been remodeling his kitchen as well as had just the appropriate size plastic water line accessible. So, all I needed to do was surface thawing points out, gradually, and afterwards fix the stood out water line. That was just two installations, about 8 inches of brand-new plastic water line, the warm weapon to warm up the ends and also it all screwed back together in less than half an hour. Like I claimed, I was fortunate to be where I had the devices and supplies to repair it myself.
It conveniently can have been a couple hundred dollars of fixings if I had to have a service center do it.
Finally: Motorhomes, fifth Tires and various other Recreational vehicles can deal with below freezing temperatures. You just require to make use of a little common sense as well as have a back up prepare for when points do not exercise.
Don’t let the cooler weather condition quit you from enjoying your Motor Home year round.
Do test it’s cold weather capabilities near to home or household, simply in case.
Keep added incandescent lights & insulation handy for back-up & repairs
Always thaw frozen pipes as well as tanks gradually – To fast and also thinks can break
As we take a trip all year, we’ll maintain you up to date on what we find out (the hard way) as well as just how you can stay clear of the very same errors (the very easy means).
Winter outdoor camping has its very own unique allure. Although, it’s not as preferred as summertime camping it does have its benefits. With winter outdoor camping you can appreciate the marvelous seclusion of the winter season forest without the trouble of handling groups. Additionally, you will have the ability to enjoy the thrill of snow moving, snowboarding as well as snowshoeing. But to fully enjoy your winter months camping experience, you must have the best gear to go with it: most importantly the right resting bag. If you are one of those campers who think that these resting gears are all created the exact same, you are dead incorrect! There is constantly a specific kind of resting equipment that provides a specific sort of outdoor camping requirement. You should bear in mind that not all sleeping bags are developed to work in all climate condition.
It is really vital to obtain a good night’s sleep to invigorate for the next day’s outdoor camping tasks you require an outdoor sleeping bag and also tent that is created for cold weather conditions. The most effective sleeping bags to go camping in the middle of winter must be ranked for temperature levels in between thirty or twenty levels below zero. A lot of these foam pads available out there have to do with twenty levels over zero, that is why you require to be really careful when buying one for wintertime camping. Although in winter season outdoor camping your very first line of protection is your camping tent, that doesn’t indicate that it will maintain you warm specifically during chilly evenings. Tents are designed to safeguard you versus wind as well as precipitation meanwhile your camping resting bag’s function is to catch your body heat and let dampness bent on keep you warm.
Mummy style resting bags with hoods is the most effective alternative. You must likewise ascertain that it is not also large or as well huge for you due to the fact that it will certainly allow the chilly therefore shedding its function. You can additionally put on cozy clothing while inside this foam bag. You can layer your garments just like what you wear for your daytime garments as long as it is not wet. You can also try including some wool blankets inside your bag. Placing an inflatable pad or foam that is complete size under your bag will aid insulate your body from the cold ground. Sleeping bags can additionally be made use of to keep your things such as your cameras as well as boots from freezing. You can put it into a plastic bag and also area it inside your resting bag at your feet if there is still space.
In winter months camping, expect the coldest temperatures, and plan for it. Not having the ability to rest conveniently during the evening because it’s as well cold simply means that you have bought the wrong sleeping bag. Don’t give up winter outdoor camping because you froze in the night, find a preferable resting bag rather and also comply with the ideas over.