How to Enjoy the Asahikawa Winter Festival

The Asahikawa Winter festival is best known for featuring the largest snow sculpture in the world. With plenty of winter-themed events, activities, and even a fireworks show, it is an event that attracts a total of nearly one million people from all over the world.

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When is the Asahikawa Winter Festival?

The Asahikawa Winter Festival will be held on the following dates.

Festival Date Time
February 7th - 12th, 2023
09:00 - 21:00 (until 20:00 on February 12th)

What is the Asahikawa Winter Festival?

The Asahikawa Winter Festival is held in February right at the beginning of the spring season, and the theme that underscores the event can be described by three words: snow, ice and light.

It is a traditional event that has been held every year for 60 years since 1960, and is most famous for sporting the largest snow sculptures in the world. These sculptures are hand made by the local people, and the largest of these sculptures measures in at a gargantuan 140m long by 20m high!

Fun Things to do

①Massive Snow Sculptures

Of course, the primary attraction that most people (and photographers) come to see is the ‘biggest snow sculpture in the world’.

It has even been acknowledged by the Guinness World Records as being the largest snow sculpture in the world.

②World Ice Sculpture Competition

The World Ice Sculpture Competition, held alongside the Asahikawa Winter Festival, is the only official international competition held in Japan. This competition is the gold standard for ice sculptors from around the world so you can see the best of the best competing for first place.

Sculpture Production Dates/Times Sculpture Viewing Dates/Times
February 07, 2023 17:00-24:00
February 08, 2023 05:00-24:00
February 09, 2023 05:00-08:00
February 09-12, 2023
▼ Illumination Times
February 09-11, 2023: 16:30-23:00
February 12, 2023: 16:30-22:00

③Lights and Fireworks

During the Asahikawa Snow Festival, there is a fireworks show held along the riverbed.

In unison with the fireworks show, there is also a show of dazzling, colorful lights projected against a snow sculpture backdrop.

At night time, the biggest crowds of attendees gather to enjoy the climax of the show.

Here are some amazing shots of the fireworks and the light show!

Date Time Location
2023 TBA
19:00 onward
Ishikari River Asahibashi Riverside Venue (Main Venue)

④Enjoy a Variety of Activities in the Snow

The following various activities that can be enjoyed by children make the Asahikawa Winter Festival perfect for families:

100 meter Ice Slide

The ice slide with a height of 20m and a total length of 100m provides quite a thrill! The slide is made out of ice, so participants end up going at high speeds. The feeling of sliding down from the same height as the 6th floor of a building is sure to be thrilling.

Snow Zipline

An exciting yet relaxing activity where you can zipline while gazing down at the pure white field of snow.

Snow Banana・Snow Rafting

Come enjoy the snowy amusement park on a snowy banana boat pulled by a snowmobile.

Snow Maze

Take on the Snow Maze Challenge! Can you make it to the exit?

Zorb Ball

A new sensation activity where you enter a giant hamster ball and roll down the hill.

⑤Hokkaido Seasonal Street Food

More than 30 traditional japanese food stalls will be in service where you can enjoy the distinctive gourmet foods of Asahikawa, its suburbs, and the Tohoku region.。

You can eat Asahikawa’s local specialty, soy sauce ramen, and various kinds of freshly caugt seafood. Come and enjoy the food of Hokkaido!

Things to Know Before Going

①Weather Conditions During the Event

Winter in Hokkaido is extremely cold, and the average temperature is below freezing. A thick coat, down jacket, hat, muffler, and gloves are a must. Please also wear warm underwear to protect yourself from the cold.

②Entry Fees

It’s free to enter the event grounds!

③Official Event Website

You can visit the official Asahikawa Winter Festival website here.

How to get There

The Asahikawa Winter Festival is held along the river at Tokiwa Park in Asahikawa, Hokkaido.

Thanks for Reading

Come and enjoy the Asahikawa Winter Festival shoulder to shoulder with the other one million participants! Thanks always for reading — various other unique Hokkaido events will be held in the surrounding area. See below if you want to add any destinatios to your trip!

Over 1,000,000
Event Attendees
Asahikawa City, Hokkaido
Author of this article
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