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The 61st Sapporo Snow Festival was held during Feb. 5-11, 2010 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. The main festival site is at Odori Park anchored on the east end by this Sapporo TV Tower where I started exploring this site.
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Odori Park is a long, rectangular park divided into numbered blocks called "chome." Next to the TV tower was 1-chome with a skating rink (free of charge) and 2-chome featuring a group of sculptures called Winter Sports Kingdom Hokkaido!
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These blocks of ice lighted in red have carved reliefs of various winter sports. I was in Sapporo for three days and visited the festival sites every day, during the day and evening.
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Figure skater. The weather was mostly cloudy with occasional light snowfall during most of the festival week. The temperature was around freezing, so wearing a ski cap or jacket hood kept my ears warm.
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The main sculpture in 2-chome. "Winter Sports Kingdom Hokkaido!"
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Ice figures of winter sports athletes. When the freezing wind blows, your unprotected ears will feel it first. But in Sapporo, warm shelter is always nearby, either below ground or in a building.
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Beautiful at night as well. The snow festival sculptures are lit up until 10 pm nightly during the festival. It's too cold to keep standing to watch something for more than 20 min. It's best to keep moving.
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They had a Yamaha keyboard player providing music coordinated with the colorful lighting. 2丁目 ウィンタースポーツ王国・北海道
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In the next block at 3-chome was the Snowboard Jump hill standing 24 meters high and 65 meters long. They held snowboard jump tournaments during the snow festival. Free to watch.
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Female snowboard jumper
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Also ski jumpers. 3丁目 スノーボードジャンプ台
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Back of the snowboard jump hill.
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In 4-chome was the first giant snow sculpture called "Zoo of the Northland" in STV/Yomiuri Square.
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With a very impressive carving of animals, this was clearly the crowd favorite. "Zoo of the Northland" features endangered animals at the 61st Sapporo Snow Festival.
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Gorilla
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Bear and cubs
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Steller's sea eagle オオワシ
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Wolves
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Snow leopard, very impressive.
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Penguins
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Stage event
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About the "Zoo of the Northland" in English.
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At a few of the big sculptures, they offered to take a picture of you in front of the sculpture with your camera. At the same time, they offered to sell you a picture they took with their camera.
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People taking advantage of the picture-taking service in front of the Northland animals.
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A cutie poses with a fake salmon in front of the Northland sculpture.
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"Zoo of the Northland" sculpture lit up at night.
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Snow leopard at night.
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Back of the "Zoo of the Northland" sculpture.
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Booth for Poland.
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Smoking was prohibited while walking at the festival site, so these smoking stations were provided.
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At 5-chome was "Place Where Dreams Come True" featuring sculpture of Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Cinderella's Castle. Disney is popular in Japan.
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Mickey and Minnie Mouse
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Entertainment held here included a talent contest for young wannabe idols.
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Mickey and Minnie lit up at night.
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Facing Mickey and Minnie Mouse was this PR booth by a soft drink maker. Inside was a display of Uemura Aiko's ski wear and skis.
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Display of Uemura Aiko's ski wear and skis used in previous seasons. Uemura is a freestyle mogul skier who is competing in the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
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Candle lights
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Smaller snow sculptures made by companies and organizations also dot the festival site.
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An impressive snow sculpture of Michael Jackson drew crowds.
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Michael Jackson snow sculpture at the 2010 Sapporo Snow Festival. Coiled wiring is used for the hair dangling below his hat.
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Michael Jackson snow sculpture
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Also in 5-chome was the snow festival's largest ice sculpture: Iolani Palace, Hawaii's most famous building and built in 1882 by King David Kalakaua as the royal residence.
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Iolani Palace, a giant ice sculpture at the 61st Sapporo Snow Festival during Feb. 5-11, 2010. During the day, it has a translucent, blue look. This block is officially called the Mainichi Shimbun Ice Square
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A flag-raising game held in front of the ice sculpture. The Iolani Palace ice sculpture is 16 meters wide and 8 meters high. It was built with 700 large blocks of ice weighing 135 kg (298 lb.) each.
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This is the real Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is next to Hawai'i's State Capitol in downtown Honolulu's King Street.
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The Iolani Palace ice sculpture was especially beautiful at night, lit up with colorful lights. It was built by over 250 members of the Japan Ice Sculpture Association, most of whom were chefs working at Sapporo hotels.
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On the final night of the snow festival, they had yosakoi soran groups perform. More photos of this Iolani Palace ice sculpture here.
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It was not the first time Iolani Palace was built at the Sapporo Snow Festival. In Feb. 1982, it was built of snow as one of the largest sculptures.
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This is how it looked like in Feb. 1982. Notice King Kamehameha on the right. More photos of this Iolani Palace snow sculpture here.
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My YouTube video of the Sapporo Snow Matsuri in 2010.
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My YouTube video of Iolani Palace at the Sapporo Snow Matsuri in 2010.
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Crossing the road to 6-chome. 6丁目
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6-chome had this medium-size snow sculpture called Seitokai no Ichizon. 生徒会の一存
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6-chome also had the festival site's largest food court called, "Hokkaido Winter Food Park." There was also a large TV monitor showing how the snow sculptures were designed and constructed.
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Food stall staff shouted to attract customers' attention.
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Tora-san in an ecological car. (Tora means tiger, and 2010 is the Year of the Tiger.)
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Sign for 7-chome.
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Entering 7-chome which was the HBC (Hokkaido Broadcasting Co.) German Square. 7丁目 HBCドイツ広場
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Medium-size snow sculpture of Germany's Wartburg Castle. ヴァルトブルク城
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German Square's main snow sculpture was this Dresdner Frauenkirche, a Lutheran Church in Dresden, Germany. フラウエン教会
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Dresdner Frauenkirche means "Church of Our Lady."
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About Dresdner Frauenkirche in English.
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Dresdner Frauenkirche snow sculpture lit up at night.
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TV event in front of Dresdner Frauenkirche.
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Back of Dresdner Frauenkirche.
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Next at 8-chome was the Baekje Royal Palace of Korea. The sculpture is 25 meters wide and 18 meters high. Apparently it was built on the occasion of the Great Baekje World Festival to be held during Sept.-Oct. 2010.
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Baekje was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. 8丁目 韓国・百済
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On-chan
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About the Baekje Royal Palace in English.
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Side view of Baekje Royal Palace snow sculpture.
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Rear view of Baekje Royal Palace snow sculpture.
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Scale model of Baekje Royal Palace snow sculpture.
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Night view of Baekje Royal Palace snow sculpture.
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Night view of Baekje Royal Palace snow sculpture.
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Night view of Baekje Royal Palace snow sculpture.
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A food court faced the Baekje Royal Palace snow sculpture.
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In 9-chome was this medium-size snow sculpture of Hokkaido University's Agricultural Dept. 9丁目 北海道大学農学部棟
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Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters pro baseball team is based in Sapporo. This sculpture depicts their victory parade.
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Smaller snow sculptures dot 9-chome.
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Ultraman by Navy Misawa in Aomori.
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Castle in Noda, Chiba.
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Sento-kun, official mascot for Nara's 1200th anniversary. Not a good likeness, but acceptable.
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Mother helping son to study.
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Playing with grandpa.
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Hatsune Miku was much photographed. 初音ミク
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Strange English on sign.
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Dirt sprinked on the snowy and icy paths gives your shoes better grip. It is very easy to slip and fall while walking on Sapporo's icy roads and sidewalks.
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Ice slide at 10-chome called "Familyland."
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Ice slides for kids.
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Mini train was popular. Notice the long line in the background.
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The last giant snow sculpture at Odori Park was at 10-chome. It was the famous Chibi Maruko-chan.
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10丁目 ちびまる子ちゃん
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Chibi Maruko-chan snow sculpture.
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Chibi Maruko-chan classmates
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Chibi Maruko-chan
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Chibi Maruko-chan at night.
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The Chibi Maruko-chan snow sculpture marked the 20th anniversary of the cartoon's TV broadcast.
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Too tall to be Chibi Maruko-chan.
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Rear of Chibi Maruko-chan snow statue.
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Here and there at the Odori Park site, freebies were give away. This line was for miso paste.
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This booth gave away hot matcha green tea.
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At 11-chome, the International Square featured small snow sculptures made by international teams. As listed on this sign, fourteen national teams participated in 2010.
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Snow sculpture by Singapore
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Taniwha by New Zealand
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Hanoman Duta by Indonesia
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The Gift, by the Netherlands.
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Kraithong by Thailand
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Kraithong by Thailand showing an alligator killer.
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Freyderyk Chopin by Poland
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Honu "flying" turtles by the Hawaii team.
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Honu snow statue by Hawaii
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About the Hawaii team's snow statue.
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More international snow statues.
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Smiling Great Buddha by People's Republic of China.
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Dream of Hanbat by Korea.
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Korea's sculpture was the sexiest of all.
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Sauna, Sisu, and Sibelius by Finland.
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Grandmother's doll cabinet by Sweden
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Bowl of Life by USA (Portland, Oregon, Sapporo's sister city).
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Ghost Warrior Zhong Kui by Hong Kong was very impressive.
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Ghost Warrior Zhong Kui by Hong Kong.
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Round Dance for Peace by Russia (Novosibirsk, Sapporo's sister city)
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11-chome also had a cross country ski track where you could try out ski walking for free.
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International food stalls
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Here and there were souvenir stalls for official merchandise of the snow festival.
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The last block in Odori Park was 12-chome featuring numerous small snow statues made by city citizens.
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Doraemon snow sculpture/statue
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Ichiro snow sculpture/statue
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Eastern Skunk Cabbage snow sculpture/statue 座禅草
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Okinawa's shiisa
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Moomin snow sculpture/statue
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Another tiger
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Homer Simpson snow sculpture/statue
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Buddha snow sculpture/statue
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Hatsune Miku
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Hideki Matsui in Godzilla's mouth.
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When you see this building, it means you are at the end of Odori Park and snow festival site. This is the Sapporo Municipal Museum.
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Booth for signing a petition to return the Northern Territories (Habomai, Etorofu, Shikotan islands) off Hokkaido, held by Russia.
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Back to the other end of Odori Park is the TV Tower.
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Skating rink at the foot of the Sapporo TV Tower. I decided to go up the tower to photograph the night views of the Odori Park festival site. It took about 30 min. to get on the elevator to the lookout deck. 700 yen admission.
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It was worth the wait. The night views of the snow festival was very nice. This is Odori Park at night during the Sapporo Snow Festival.
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The skating rink next to the foot of the TV Tower had a Christmas tree with heart-shaped lighting not noticeable from the ground.
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Odori Park at night during the Sapporo Snow Festival in Feb. 2010.
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In the foreground is the snowboard jump hill. At the top is the Northland animal sculpture.
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More snow sculptures in Odori Park.
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The second site of the Sapporo Snow Festival is here in Susukino, a short walk from Odori Park. Susukino is a well-known nighttime entertainment area.
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The Sususkino festival site features ice sculptures along the main road called Ekimae-dori which originates from Sapporo Station.
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Crabs and fish frozen in this ice sculpture.
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Another definition of "frozen fish."
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Illumination tunnel
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Brandenburg Gate in ice. The ice sculptures in Susukino are lit up until midnight.
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The Susukino ice sculptures compete for 1st and 2nd place awards.
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Dragon ice sculpture wins a 1st place award.
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Unicorn for 2nd place.
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Eagle catching fish
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T-rex
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Another 1st place winner
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Salmon
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Many of the ice sculptures are also advertisements.
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Gundam
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Long life and happiness
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Pulsating heart. The snow festival is held near Valentine's Day.
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Frozen fish
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Hina matsuri dolls
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This is Sakaemachi subway station, the closet station to the third snow festival site at Tsu-dome (Sapporo Community Dome).
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Shuttle bus from Sakaemachi Station to Tsu-dome.
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Tsu-dome snow festival site.
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Ice slides at Tsu-dome
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Map of Tsu-dome snow festival site.
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Snow raft rides for 300 yen.
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Okadama Airport is right next door.
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Another ice slide.
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Entrance to the dome.
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Inside Sapporo Community Dome, nicknamed Tsu-dome.
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