Posted by: Airtower | 2011-02-28

Dreamy candles – Seeing Snow, part 4

The visit at the chocolate factory (see part 3) took just a few minutes longer than expected, but it was enough to make us miss both a train and a bus we could have used, so we had to wait almost one hour for the next bus. On the plus side this gave us time to buy some lunch. The bus trip took more than one hour, but while boring it has an advantage: Bus time means nap time. I woke up a while before we reached 小樽 (Otaru), so I had some time to talk and enjoy the view down a white hillside and over a dark blue bay.

A man standing on top of a 1.5m high block of snow, sculpting it into a snow Shinkansen.

We arrived at the bus station just in front of the Otaru railway station, where a man was working on what looks like a snow Shinkansen to me. Otaru is a smaller town with even more snow than Sapporo. We split up, and my first stop was the harbor, where I could see a Japan Coast Guard ship, small snowed in boats…

A boat covered in snow, moored in Otaru harbor.

…and how to deal with lots of snow.

Excavator loading snow onto a truck.

Otaru has its own snow festival, called 小樽雪あかりの路 (Otaru yuki akari no michi, “Otaru path of the snow lights”). While it is a lot smaller than the Sapporo snow festival, I think I like this one even more. Sure, there are no big, house-sized sculptures, but there is as much love and attention to detail, and in the evening everything is illuminated by thousands of candles – very beautiful, warm and dreamy. 🙂 The festival site was crawling with people.

Three persons working on a hillside snow sculpture

During the late afternoon I could see people working on the sculptures, and after sunset the famous Otaru canal was lit up by many small lamps. I suppose this explains the festival’s name.

Canal with snow on the sides, small lights floating on the canal.

Enjoy the photos! I recommend going to the festival yourself if you can.

Snow sculpture: A triangle of snowballs and a heart, lit up by candles.

A decorated snow cave, snow lamps and a sign with the fesitval's name

Heart-shaped caves in the side of a snow hill, lit up by candles inside

Snow arcades and snow lamps in candle light

Sadly my camera ran out of power during the evening, so I could not take pictures of some nice things, for example the “Great Wall of China” sculpture. It wasn’t very high, but was winding along the side of a snow hill for at least 6 meters, with candles in the middle.

Two mushroom-shaped snow lamps

We went back to Sapporo by train and arrived around 8 pm. This day’s dinner was special: A place called “Shall we SWEETS!” almost has to be good, right? It’s all-you-can-eat buffet with a heavy focus on cake, waffles and other – guess what? – sweets. At 1,680 Yen for 90 minutes not exactly cheap, but considering what we got I think the price was acceptable.

A small waffle with ice cream and chocolate decoration

Before going back to the Youth Hostel for the last night in Sapporo we took a look at a roof mounted ferris wheel.

A ferris wheel with colorful lights, over the roofs of Sapporo

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Waow. Die Kerzen im Schnee nachts ist echt wunder schön. Echt wirklich romantisch ^^ wunderschöne Fotos kann ich nur sagen ^^

  2. […] last morning in Sapporo was a wonderful sunny one (see part 3 and part 4 for the day before). After moving out of our rooms we stored the luggage in the Youth […]


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: