Sapporo’s International Snow Garden & Sculpture Contest

DSC_0613If you can’t tell from my blog, I’m a sucker for international events. Any chance to get a bunch of people from around the world talking and bonding with one another is just cat nip to me.

That’s why I absolutely lost it at the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri this year. At the far end of Odori Park (the snow festival’s main staging ground) lied the international garden. Here, multiple countries from around the world sent teams of 3 artists to compete in making a snow sculpture  that was meaningful to them and their country. DSC_0685It was definitely telling and each sculpture was breathtaking in its own right…some for different reasons :). Oh, you’ll see.While the judging took place in the middle of the festival, I was lucky enough to be in Sapporo for multiple days beforehand and was able to see these works of art actually being built by their artists. There was no shipping them in from secret rooms or fridges…no no no. They were made right there in the snow at Odori Park.

A few of the artists were pretty…well…engrossed in their work so they didn’t feel like speaking to us. But the Polish team was very happy to speak with us and tell us of the inspiration for their piece. The Polish sculpture depicts a man holding a few different large panels representing the inner strength we have to overcome our fears and challenges. While we may not be able to control it physically, we still have it inside of us. It was really deep and I was very grateful for the team captain speaking to us. A cheery Polish architect/artist who works with ice as a medium.

The next day, I came back and was able to see the finished products alongside a plaque explaining their meaning. Here they are below:

Singapore with the…sperm sculpture… (It’s actually exceptionally well done)…its called “In The Beginning”…

Malaysia with the “Kenyah”…

New Zeleand with “Nice & Warm”…

Poland with “Touch-and-Go”…

Italy with “The Four Seasons”…

Portland, USA with “Family”…ORCAS…

Indonesia with “The Voice Of Nature”…

Australia with “Surf, Sun, Sand And A Touch Of Silliness”…how do you Aussie’s feel about this one?

Thailand with “The Ubiquitous Tuk-Tuk”…DSC_0710

South Korea with “The Knot Of Life”…

Finland with “Yearning”…

Hawaii with “Ki’i Poaku”…

Aren’t these amazing?! It was easily my favorite part of the entire Snow Festival.

Well, that and the fact that this international garden also had an international food garden boasting drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and foods from countries like Spain, Russia, Malaysia, Turkey, India and more!

How can you beat that?! I will say that the doner kebab and Turkish stall had the largest line by far…can you blame them?

I’m kind of sad that Turkey didn’t do a snow sculpture of a giant kebab but I’ll take what I can get. The penguins are a pretty solid runner up. What do you think? Which was your favorite? The whales, the surfing Koala? What about the sperm? Tell me in the comments below!

Until next time!

Categories: Japan, SapporoTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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