Our first stop in Hokkaido was Asahikawa. Asahikawa is a city roughly an hour north of Sapporo. This is where Japan’s lowest temperature, -41C, was recorded back in 1902.
The Asahikawa Winter Festival is special since it has big snow sculptures on display. The festival is held in two places, the Asahibashi Site and the Heiwa Dori pedestrian street. On the first night of the festival, there is a fireworks display on the main stage of the Asahibashi Site.
To be honest, we weren’t mentally prepared for how cold it would be as we made our way to the festival grounds. It was so cold and it kept on snowing. It wasn’t the cute snow too. The snowfall was intense and it was extremely hard to enjoy any of the activities the festival had to offer because of this. We ended up going back to our hotel after an hour at the festival grounds and planned to return the next morning.
The next morning wasn’t any better. It was still freezing cold and we were only able to try one activity which was the slide. Here’s a couple of more pictures of the Asahibashi Site from the next morning.
Overall, I would rate the Asahikawa Winter Festival a 7/10. The lower points is for how uncomfortably cold it was for me. I wish I was more prepared for it and bundled up more so I could’ve enjoyed it better. The sculptures were interesting to see and there were a activities the guests could try – some were free and some you had to pay a minimal amount. I would definitely come back and maybe have ten layers next time. Be sure to catch the fireworks too because it was amazing.