I don’t usually go to Odori Park to check out the festival, but this year, I really made it a point to go and visit the Snow Festival just to see the main sculptures. Personally, I feel like the festival has changed in the last few years. There seems to be less of the smaller sculptures made by private citizens or groups. Instead, there are a lot more food stalls that sell the local delicacies from different areas.
(Check out the link to the official website here.)
While I don’t mind the food, it is definitely a different feeling when you’re surrounded by lots of hawkers trying to sell you their stuff. I loved going when I was younger to see the creative ice statues that people made. Even though they may not be as professionally done as the bigger ones, they still added a lot of whimsy to the overall atmosphere of the festival.
I guess it is part of the Japanese culture to have lots of food stalls, games, and different activities during festivals. I just felt that the winter festival should have its main theme of snow and ice. But I guess I can’t fault local businesses from trying to capitalize on the influx of visitors, both Japanese and foreign, who come specifically to see the festival. I understand their motives and I do support their right to make a living. I just don’t think it fits during the Snow Festival. In the summer and the fall, I would say yes, but maybe not in the winter… but that is just one blogger’s opinion.
Still, though, I am always impressed by work that the Japanese Ground Self Defense does every year. This year, the GSDF was responsible for creating the sculptures of Yakushiji Temple and the Final Fantasy Display. These are humongous sculptures that reach the second story of many of the buildings around Odori.
I was very impressed by the details that went into the creation of Yakushiji Temple. I only went at night, specifically because I wanted to see the projection mapping. The light show for the Final Fantasy one was okay, but I wasn’t completely blown away by it.
Although it wasn’t as impressive as I had wanted it to be, I still prefered the projection mapping done at the Temple. There seemed to be an overall theme of the universe within oneself and the unity of all things. At least, that’s what I got from it.
As I write this, on this last day of the festival, I rejoice at the beauty that can be created with snow. It was still a good festival and experience to go to.