Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Snow

Sapporo Festival Highlights

Besides the amazing snow sculptures, another highlight of the Snow Festival was watching skiers and snowboarders at the Air Park. The Air Park has two areas, one for jumping and one for moguls.

Friday night we enjoyed watching the mogul competition. It was impressive to watch considering the size of the arena.

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I took a couple of short clips of the different riders. The tandem jumpers were really cool to watch.

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Three riders are impressive. But, how about six!

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We returned on Saturday to catch some of the jumping during the daytime. The riders were practicing their jumps and despite their falls, I remained impressed.

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How about backwards!

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Or on a snowboard!

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It was fun to watch the athletes. They seemed to be having a great time.

Another fun attraction was visiting the Sapporo TV tower.

We were able to go to the observation deck. From the observation deck, we had a fantastic view of the festival and the city of Sapporo.

We rode the elevator to the top and took the stairs down. The signs cracked us up!

We posed for a couple of tourist photos… because that’s what we are! The first one is of me and the Sapporo TV Tower mascot.

One last video from the weekend. We had lunch on Saturday at a sushi restaurant in Sapporo. While we ate, we had a great view of the fish monger preparing the fish. I could have watched him all day. He truly was a professional.

We made it home on Sunday without issue. The Snow Festival was better and the trip was more fun than I ever expected. The experience was fantastic. Thanks for reading about our adventures!

Snow Festival Saturday

We spent Saturday walking around the Snow Festival and enjoying the sculptures. The size was still impressive.

With less crowds and daylight, we could take our time walking around the festival and sculptures. I found this information about the construction of the final Fantasy XIV snow sculpture. Even though the explanation is in Japanese, if you look at the pictures, you can get a better understanding of how they are constructed

Daytime events seemed to be catered more towards kids and families. At the building, they had kids on stage shooting baskets. I loved how the building looked blue in the daylight.

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At the Pacific Music Festival sculpture, kids were performing traditional dance.

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Speaking of kids, I couldn’t get over all the little cuties in their snowsuits. Adorable.

We quickly figured out the favorite sculpture for kids. The Cup Noodle. It was actually an ice slide!

My favorite was still the Temple. It is a replication of the Great Lecture Hall at the Yakushi-ji Temple in Nara. The building was created using ice blocks. A team of 3,800 people completed the structure in 28 days!

At the other large building structure, a lady was singing. Notice she is holding a clear umbrella to keep her dry as the snow fell. So, cute!

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It was fun to walk around the snow sculptures during the day and learn more about how they were constructed and see the kids enjoying them. Dave and I both agreed they seemed “cooler” at night with the lights.

Snow Beautiful

The snow on Monday caused a lot of chaos. The roads were a mess and the trains were delayed. It took Dave an extra 30 minutes to get home on the trains. One friend told us it took him 2.5 hours to drive home to Ikego from main base (usually this drive takes 25 minutes). The schools on base had a snow day Tuesday and the base told only essential personnel to report. Dave didn’t leave until around 8:00am. I decided to walk down the hill to the train station with him and go for a walk. My walk/train rides took me to Kamakura. My first stop was to see the Great Buddha. He was beautiful covered in his snow blanket.

Instead of taking the Enoshima line train back to Kamakura station, I decided to walk along the beach. It was worth the trip! Don’t let the water color fool you! It would be very chilly. Look at all the snow on the beach.

I continued my walk towards the Hachiman-gu Shrine. As I was walking along the street, I kept hearing this horrible sound (like a belt slipping) coming from many of the passing cars. It took me a couple minutes and then I realized, most of the buses and delivery trucks had chains on their tires! Ha! I haven’t seen those in a while!

The Shrine was very beautiful in the snow.

As I was taking the last picture, I noticed people were entering the Peonies Garden. Surely, it’s not open? Yes, yes it was! I decided to take a walk through. I haven’t been since last April. Dave and I went to view the Sakura trees and peonies. The peonies were beautiful in the snow. Instead of parasols to keep off the rain, they had straw huts to protect them from the snow. Kawaii!

I was shocked and confused to see the gardens open and peonies blooming. Especially, because we went to visit them in April last year. A little research and I learned the garden is open from New Year’s Day until mid-February. It opens again at the beginning of April until the middle of May. So, good news for my friends visiting in April, you will have a chance to see the gardens for yourself! We will keep our fingers crossed the Sakura trees are also blooming that week! 🤞🏼🌸

I also learned about this unique garden. The stones were a present from the Chinese government in 1984. In China, peonies were planted with these unique and famous stones from Taigi Lake in Jiangsu Province in Eastern China. The stones are now protected by Chinese law and can no longer be exported.

By the time I was returning home around noon, a lot of the snow had melted. The sunshine and rising temperatures helped restore things back to normal. The snow was beautiful while it lasted!

Snow Day

You would not even believe the amount of snow we received today. I still can’t believe it. The snow started around 10 am. It snowed briefly and then stopped.

Around noon it started snowing again. It hasn’t stopped. It’s a very wet snow and sticking to everything!

You know what’s funny, at the Ikebana event on Saturday, Miki told me it was going to snow today. Monday? Really? Hai! No. It’s just supposed to rain. This is definitely not rain! I will never doubt her about the weather again!

The snow is so wet and sticky it makes the trees look beautiful.

The good thing about all the snow, it gives me an excuse to don my hot pink snow pants.

Watching snow fall is so peaceful.

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We left our snow shovel in Great Lakes. I’ve gone out a several times to sweep off our front porch and sidewalk. It’s a big slushy mess.

The toll road between where we live and the base has closed. Needless to say, Dave will need to take the train home. I’m sure they will be delayed as well. The schools have already posted a two-hour delay for tomorrow. I know this sounds familiar to many of you. The good news for us, the temperature is supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow. I don’t think our winter wonderland will last too long!

One last owl planter picture. So much snow!! I took this last set at 18:30 on Monday and it is still snowing!

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