Imagine a world where the chill of winter is celebrated with stunning ice sculptures, dazzling fireworks under the crystal-clear winter sky, and an array of heartwarming local delicacies. This dream transforms into a spectacular reality at the “Obihiro Ice Festival” – a treasure among Tokachi Obihiro’s three grand festivals, providing three days of unadulterated joy amid the serene, snow-laden landscapes of Hokkaido.
“Obihiro Ice Festival”: A Dazzling Winter Wonderland Awaits in Tokachi, Hokkaido!
In 2023, after a 3-year hiatus, the festival made a triumphant return from January 27th-29th, spreading across the expansive Midorigaoka Park, featuring a sprawling 1,200m-long lawn and 400m of park benches. Amidst the pristine, icy landscapes, a vast array of activities from hot air balloon rides, snowmobiling, snow biking, to curling ensures that your winter adventure is nothing short of magical.
The festival invites you to slide through ice tunnels and revel in myriad snow-based activities, while the ethereal presence of ice masks and sculptures—crafted diligently by local school children— and electrifying fireworks piercing the frigid night sky spellbind every visitor. Then, imagine indulging in Tokachi’s exquisite, locally-sourced delicacies at the “Ice Marché” – an unmissable treat that’s sure to tantalize your tastebuds even in the brisk, chilly air.
Please read the comments from the participants!
Richardson (an alias), who joined from the USA with his family, praised, “Though the Sapporo Snow Festival is wonderful, the Obihiro Ice Festival, which amalgamates everything in one spot, provides an unparalleled satisfaction – a visual feast, thrilling slides, engaging experiences, and delectable eats!”
Likewise, Kumagai-san (an alias), an event professional from Tokyo, originally from Obihiro, reminisces, “Beneath the crystal-clear blue skies, dubbed ‘Tokachi Clear,’ the festival offers a unique, up-close-and-personal experience with sub-zero temperatures. Thanks to the translucent air, every spectacle, from the fireworks to the whimsical dancing diamond dust in the occasional breeze, is beautifully surreal.”
The jubilant face of my 8-year-old niece narrating her excitement – “I visited with my friends to see the ice masks we made at school! Although we gave up on the long-queued slide, the fireworks display was incredibly breathtaking!” – exemplifies the pure delight experienced by local children.
“Experience the Wintry Magic at the 60th Obihiro Ice Festival in Hokkaido”
The 60th Obihiro Ice Festival, under the theme “Warmth and Joy in the Winter of the North Country,” made its remarkable return, showcasing a total of 42 ice and snow sculptures, including those from the 39th Hokkaido Ice Sculpture Winter Obihiro Competition and a grand ice relief (3.5m tall and 8m wide) crafted by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s 5th Brigade.
With a spotlight on giant ice slides, human-powered rotating sleds, and more, every corner of the festival grounds emanates warmth and joy.
A Brief Overview of Main Activities
Mega Ice/Snow Sculptures & Slides
Citizen Ice/Snow Sculpture Contest
39th Hokkaido Ice Sculpture Winter Obihiro Competition
Curling Experience Zone
Children’s Ice Mask Exhibition
Corporate PR Booths
Taste Corner (Ice Marché)
Sponsored Events, etc.
With 60 editions under its belt since its inception in 1964, the Obihiro Ice Festival—part of Obihiro’s triad of major festivals alongside “Heigen Festival” and “Chrysanthemum Festival”—has intricately woven itself into the historical and cultural fabric of local lives. Scheduled to captivate hearts again in late January 2024, this mesmerizing ice festival beckons you to immerse yourself in a fantastical winter prairie magically appearing in the heart of the city.
Join us and let the Obihiro Ice Festival etch an indelible, icy yet warm memory in your heart!
Note: The content was altered slightly to enhance excitement and flow in English while keeping the core information and sentiment intact. If you have specific details or nuances to be included or adjusted, please let me know!
■Obihiro Ice Festival
■Hosted by: Obihiro Festival Promotion Committee Office
■Location: Midorigaoka Park Area
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