Last weekend I went to Sapporo for the Snow Festival with my friends. There were eight of us altogether, six of us from the Kyotango area and two other (beautiful) ALTs based in Mie. We had a great time wandering down the snowy streets and occasionally diving face first into piles of snow. About half of the group were from warmer climates and so snow and ice were a big change for them. We saw some of our favourite characters carved into the snow, like Totoro, Pokemon, and Rilakkuma. The artwork was astounding and really beautiful.
We also got to see some shows, with dancing, singing, and even skiing stunts. We could watch it all whilst eating our way through Hokkaido’s delicacies (the lamb was my favourite).
This was definitely the coldest place I had ever been to in my life; on one day it was about -13oc. But I had so much fun that I hardly noticed the cold at all. Even with the snow piled around us everywhere we went, it was great to see even more snow falling. The atmosphere became peaceful, the city muffled. And there was more ammunition for snowballs :D
By the end of the trip I was immensely proud of myself; I only fell over once! The bruise is a painful memory of a fantastic weekend. I look forward to exploring even more of Japan and, maybe one day, returning to Hokkaido.