The Tokamachi Snow Festival is one of the highlights of the winter event calendar in Snow Country. It is a whole weekend of snow-related fun in late February each year. A mild winter with a bit of rain before the event for the 2016 edition did nothing to damp the high spirits of the organizers or participants.
There are different areas to the Snow Festival all over the town. It is a good idea to head to Tokamachi Station first to pick up one of the guide maps to make sure you don’t miss anything. There are also helpful multi-lingual staff there ready to point you in the right direction.
There are snow sculptures all over the place all competing for a selection of prizes. The craftsmanship that goes into them is amazing, and it seems such a shame that they are destined to melt. The artists draw their inspiration from many themes, both ancient and modern.
The main event is the Snow Carnival on Saturday night with live music from big name celebrities on a giant stage carved out of snow. It takes a couple of thousand truckloads of snow and many hours of hard work to create but is absolutely breathtaking when finished.
The highlight of the Snow Carnival are the fireworks. The stage is lit up and the fireworks are sent up behind it. It was an amazing display this year and everyone who witnessed it was impressed. After the Snow Carnival many people headed back to the main festival area to try food from one of the many food stalls that were doing a roaring trade.
It is a fantastic weekend with events through each day and night. Even if you can only make it for a short time you will not regret it and should put it in your diary now for next year!