Wednesday, March 16, 2011

十和田湖冬物語 Towada Winter Festival


On February 26th we went to Towada Lake on one of the last days for their snow festival. It is considered a very mini version of what they do in Sapporo. It was very warm in Misawa that week and I joked that there would be nothing left when we got there, just a big puddle!

There are some large snow sculptures and igloos created for the event. They also had a gigantic ramp for children to sledding! For older “kids” they had snowmobile rides. (think bananaboat on the snow).

DSC06735It is very hard to tell from the picture, but this supposed to be the shinkansen. (bullet train) The lights are the windows. DSC06740This is the beautiful entrance to the festivalDSC06746My favorite, the chapel. It even had stained glass windows! It was very tiny and slippery inside!DSC06748DSC06750DSC06751This is the ice stage. There were performances here and the fireworks happen behind the stage. We missed the firework show but I’ll explain why later. DSC06753Many of the igloos were places to get food or a place to get fortunes. There was also a footbath outside for 300 yen!  DSC06752

DSC06765One of the most famous things about this festival is the ice bar. They serve beer and other alcoholic drinks in cups made of ice! I really wanted to try it but I was so cold!DSC06766DSC06784DSC06795

There existed but one warm haven in this whole event…the food tent. This is where all the vendors were. This is also why we missed the fireworks. As you can see, it was extremely crowded. As soon as the fireworks went off, everyone ran outside, while we ran in to get to the front of line and get some food and a place to sit. We will be masters of this yet!DSC06821As we dined on a variety of hot soups, we got some traditional entertainment from the locals.


The Towada Winter Festival was a great experience. I’m not sure if I want to go back next year since I’m not a fan of cold weather. If you do plan to venture out, try to go during the evening, that is when most of the fun is happening. And make sure you dress in layers!

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