Tokamachi is a city with one of highest snowfalls in Japan located in the Niigata prefecture. As the city seems like a perfect location to host this kind of festival, Tokamachi holds their Snow Festival every year. The 2016 Tokamachi Snow Festival is going to be held between February 19 and 21. It is a distinctive snow festival that brings festive nature to the heavily snow-covered city of Tokamachi.
Tokamachi city sees an emigration trend due to its extensive snowfall. People here face a lot of problems every year during the winter due to the unbearable snow that swallows their entire city. However, the Tokamachi Snow Festival brings all people together to enjoy the snow. The festival was started at the same time as the famous Sapporo Snow Festival. However, it has not become as commercially successful as Sapporo’s.
If you want a Sapporo style snow festival with huge sculptures but without the big crowd, the Tokamachi festival is your option. It is usually conducted for three days around the third Saturday of February. There is no particular venue or site. Usually, the sculptures are present all across the city, some in clusters and some isolated. The city is not very big and it has good transportation facilities so all of the venues can be visited with ease.
It is not just the snow sculptures that make this festival unique, it’s the activities that go along with it. A lot of food stalls and snow slides are installed all across the city. There is a large carnival that takes place on a stage made of snow where dances, songs, light shows and fireworks are featured. There is no entrance fee for this carnival. Many stores in the city have snowmen installed in front of them. The whole city looks like it is decorated with snow. A special type of rice sake local to the region is served during the festival at many sites.
So what are you waiting for? Come and see the unique charm of the Tokamachi Snow Festival and take home many fond memories.