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Winter in Hokkaido Part 5 – Snow Festival at the Tsudome Site

(This post is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the very beginning, click here.)

So after having our long and late lunch in Curb Market, we decided to take a cab to the nearest subway station, since it was quite a distance to walk back. This move saved us a lot of time, which turned out to be a very important decision in the course of the day.

So here’s a bit about using a cab in Sapporo / Japan. Usually, most guides and blogs tell you that cabs are expensive. But for us, since we were travelling in a group of four, it was often cheaper to travel by taxi for short distances. Subway fare is JPY 230 person (which makes it JPY 920 in total for the four of us), but a taxi cab ride start from JPY 680 onwards.

Anyway, our next destination is the Snow Festival at the Tsudome site. As i mentioned in my earlier post, there are three sites that make up the annual Snow Festival – Odori Park, Susukino and the Tsudome site. The Tsudome, on regular days, is a stadium and sports complex.

The Tsudome is a short walk from the Sakaemachi subway station. When approaching the Tsudome, you can see the large white dome from a distance. While we were walking towards the Tsudome, we noticed something strange – there was a constant stream of people walking in the opposite direction…and especially a lot of families pulling their young children on sleds. My wife asked, “Is the site closing??” I checked my watch – it said 4pm. I checked their official website – the Tsudome site closes at 5pm! We only have an hour left! And it occured to me that had we not taken the cab from the Curb Market, we would not have made it here in time at all!


(the big dome is visible from a distance)

So anyway, one hour is just enough time to see the Tsudome. Entry is free of charge. Inside the dome, there are lots of carnival games, vendor booths and food stalls.

Even though it was late in the afternoon, there were still a lot of people having fun in the dome.


(gee, there sure are a lot of visitors from my homeland.)

But the main attraction of the Tsudome is actually outside the dome.

Outside, they have lots of great activities for family fun. They have snow buggy rides, sled rides, a multitude of small snowmen (made by members of the public), snowball targets, etc.


(Sled rides!)


(snowball throwing practice! This was really popular. Not as easy as it looks)


(snowball ingredients)


(My daughter is deep in concentration before her throw…)


(hundreds of little snowmen made by visitors)


(Olaf has lost a lot of weight)


(that little guy with three buttons sure looks happy)


(our very own little snowman)


(reminds of that gameshow Hole in the Wall)


(kiddie slide)

So in summary, the Tsudome is worthwhile to visit during the snow festival, even though it is quite a distance away from the other two sites. During the midday, it can get a little crowded, but it is really fun for the whole family.

Next – Dinner and the Sapporo Beer Museum.

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