* Hokkaido Travel Tips的部落格

*Hokkaido Travel Tips’ Blog
We compile information on “0 yen tourist spots” and “must-see paid spots with extra benefits” and then keep them in our blog as archives for your convenience. We also introduce the food of Hokkaido and interesting souvenirs to take home.



2020 札幌雪祭10丁目大雪像/ 2020 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at Odori 10-chome site

大通10丁目大雪像的主題是人氣卡通人物的海螺小姐。 「海螺小姐」 在2019年時迎來開始播出50週年紀念。使用雪像來演示出海螺小姐一家人滑雪或溜冰等享受冬季運動的樣子。因為札幌市正爭取主辦2030冬季奧運會和殘奧會的資格,這個雪像也是宣傳活動之一。

The theme of the large snow sculpture at the 10-chome site in Odori Park is Sazaesan, a famous manga and animation title. It has been over 50 years since the Sazaesan animated TV series started (2019 was the 50th anniversary.) The sculpture depicts each member of Sazaesan’s family enjoying winter sports. The main character, Sazae is alpine skiing, her husband Masuo ski jumping, her son Taro curling, and the family cat Tama bobsleighing. The reason for this design is the PR effort for Sapporo to win the hosting of the Winter Olympics in 2030.

2020 札幌雪祭8丁目大雪像/ 2020 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at Odori 8-chome site

大通8丁目的大雪像主題是民族共生。2020年4月,在白老町POROTO湖畔的UPOPOI(民族共生象徵空間)將會開幕。UPOPOI在阿伊努語中意味著「(大夥來)唱歌」。中央的雪像是村子的守護神,KOTANKAMUI(島梟) 。右邊則是以原住民阿伊努的歷史和文化為主題的國立博物館 ,是日本最初和日本最北的國立博物館。

The theme of the large snow sculpture at the 8-chome site in Odori Park is living together beyond ethical differences. In April, 2020, in Shiraoi Town, Upopoy (the National Ainu Museum and Park) is opening at Poroto Kotan, which is on the shores of Lake Poroto. Poroto Kotan is one of the famous Ainu villages in Hokkaido, popular with tourists. Upopoy means singing in a large group in the Ainu language. A Blakiston’s fish owl with its wings open dominates the center of the snow carving. The right part of the sculpture depicts the building of the national museum.

2020 札幌雪祭7丁目大雪像/ 2020 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at Odori 7-chome site

大通7丁目大雪像的主題是在2019年時迎向和日本建交100周年的波蘭共和國。製作了在首都華沙的瓦金基公園內建造的宮殿和作曲家蕭邦的雪像。瓦金基公園很優美, 是從1776年開始花了30年的歲月所建造的。今年也是5年一度蕭邦國際鋼琴比賽的舉行年。

The theme of the large snow sculpture at 7-chome site in Odori Park is Polish People’s Republic. 2019 saw the centenary of Japan and Poland beginning diplomatic relations. The capital of Poland is Warsaw, and Royal Baths Park is a highlight of a visit to the city. The Palace on the Isle and the statue of Frédéric Chopin in the park are build with snow at this site. Royal Baths Park, which took 30 years to create starting in 1776, is a beautiful undertaking. Every five years, the International Chopin Piano Competition is held, with it falling on the year 2020.

2020 札幌雪祭5丁目大雪像/ 2020 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at Odori 5-chome site

大通5丁目大雪像的主題是賽馬的純種馬。 日本的賽馬有98%是從北海道誕生的。 在此至今已經誕生出數匹名馬。 法國的凱旋門賞是從1920年所創設的規格最高的比賽。 北海道勢必要成功的願望是成為能稱霸世界最高峰比賽的馬產地之一。在大雪像的中央是純種馬,背景製作出法國的凱旋門。

The theme of the large snow sculpture at 5-chome site in Odori Park is thoroughbred horse racing. 98 percent of Japanese race horses are born in Hokkaido, with some having made considerable fortune and fame. There are many famous, classic and ceremonial races throughout the world. The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe held in France is one of them, and started 1920. Those who are involved in the horse racing industry in Hokkaido have long been striving to win it. At this site, a big horse sculpture is set to a background of the Arc de Triomphe.

2020 札幌雪祭4丁目大雪像/ 2020 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at Odori 4-chome site


The theme of the large snow sculpture at 4-chome site in Odori Park is a myth of the Ainu, the aboriginal people of Hokkaido. The scene of the creation of the world is depicted in a snow sculpture. Kanna Kamui, the god of thunder and lightening, and Chikisani, the goddess of the forest are the main characters. Kanna Kamui strikes the land with a huge bolt of lightening on account of his infatuation with Chikisani. The land then catches fire, and from the huge flames the god of humans, Ainu Rakkuru, is born. On the stage, Moment Factory, an art group from Canada, holds a projection mapping show.

2020 札幌雪祭2丁目大雪像/ 2020 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at Odori 2-chome site


The theme of the 2-chome site in Odori Park is a combination of cutting-edge technology and traditional Ainu culture. The snow sculpture feature is Golden Kamui, a popular manga which focuses on Ainu. The setting of this manga story is Hokkaido in the 19th century. It’s an adventure about people seeking a bounty of the gold, which the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido were fabled to have hidden. During the Sapporo Snow Festival, the Golden Kamui will be the medium for a spectacular show using augmented reality and projection mapping. Traditional Ainu dance will be on show, and music events will also be held. Check the timetable on the official brochure.

1月中旬的札幌, In Sapporo at the middle of January


In the middle of January in Sapporo, the lowest temperature during the day is typically minus 5 to 10 degrees, with the highest temperature reaching minus 5 to 0 degrees. If a cold air mass comes from the north, the highest temperature may fall to minus 7 or 8 degrees. When a warm mass air comes, the highest temperature rises to plus 2 or 3 degrees. January is the important month for making snow and ice sculptures for the Sapporo Snow Festival, so temperatures above freezing level cause problems as the sculptures made of snow or ice begin to melt.

七草粥 / Nanakusa Gayu


Nanakusa Gayu is a traditional Japanese dish eaten on January 7th, a day called Jinjitsu-no Sekku. (Incidentally, there are other traditional dishes for several special days through the year.) Nanakusa means seven vegetables, those being Seri, Nazuna, Gogyo, Hakobera, Hotokenoza, Suzuna and Suzushiro. They are finely chopped and added into rice porridge with only salt as seasoning. Some people add small pieces of mochi (sticky rice cake). The purpose is to pray for good health in the new year and to make one’s stomach condition better, after we have eaten special dishes around New Year’s Day, or partaken in sake or other alcohol beverages.

昆布 / Kombu kelp


Kombu kelp is a typical, integral ingredient in Japanese cuisine used throughout the year. For the purpose of making the soup stock called dashi, or for the purpose of using it as is for dishes, kombu fulfils an important role within Japanese cuisine. A typical use of konbu is in Tsukudani, which is a tiny side-dish to eat with rice. As kombu grows in cold sea water, more than 90 percent of konbu found throughout Japan is from Hokkaido. Kombu can be found growing naturally almost anywhere on the coast, but at some places it is farmed. There are several species; Rishiri Kombu, Rausu Kombu, Hidaka Kombu, Ma Kombu, and Hosome Kombu among others. Some use the growing region's name.

門松 / Kadomatsu


Kadomatsu is a Japanese traditional decoration for the New Year. Kado stands for gate, and matsu means pine tree. It’s put in front of the entrance of houses or shops. This custom started around the 10th century according to written-records. For Kadomatsu, pine trees were originally used, but after the medieval period, using bamboo with the pine tree grew in popularity. Pine tree and bamboo are evergreen plants, which suggests eternal prosperity. Big ones stand taller than an average man, and are usually seen at the entrance of department store. For home-use, small ones are sold at shops, and even at some supermarkets. They're displayed until January 15th.

跨年蕎麥麵 / Toshikoshi Soba


Toshikoshi Soba is a Japanese traditional custom. Toshikoshi means ‘beyond a year’ and Soba is Japanese buckwheat noodles. They're eaten on New Year's Eve to pray for good luck. Soba is of an easier to cut texture than other noodles, and we believe that bad things from the year are cut off and not to continue. Generally, Toshikoshi Soba is eaten as lunch or dinner on New Year's Eve. There are a number of stories how this custom came about. In December, we see soba specialty shops sell sets of noodles to be cooked at home. This scene brings the mind to the coming new year.



Kamaei is one of the most famous kamaboko (steamed minced-fish paste) makers in Hokkaido. Their headquarters is in Otaru City, and their factory is located almost in the middle of Sakaimachi-dori Street, a highlight of Otaru tourism. The factory houses a shop selling products directly from the factory, and a show window from which to observe the production process. Their main production time is from 9 a.m. to noon. Whenever the shop is open, a 10 minute informational movie is on loop. Their most famous product is their Pan Roll (deep fried bread with kamaboko). They also have branches in Sapporo.

函館市電 / The trams in Hakodate City


In Hakodate City, the trams are useful for transportation to tourist spots. There are two lines, which run on the same street for most of their routes, then separate at Jujigai, which is the center of the city. One line leads to the north harbor area and the other leads to the south harbor area. The line’s map is like Y-shape. The Hakodate tram was established in 1913, replacing the horse draw rail carriages. It’s older than Sapporo’s tram system and is actually the second oldest in the eastern part of Japan after Tokyo. Now, in Hokkaido, only Sapporo and Hakodate have trams on the street.

室蘭拉麵 / Muroran Ramen


Muroran Ramen features curry flavored soup. Some say this curry flavor may become the fourth major ramen flavor after the big three flavors of shouyu (soy sauce), miso (fermented beans salt paste) and shio (salt). Ajino Daiou, which literally translates to ‘the king of taste’, in Muroran city created the dish, and it then spread through the area. Sometimes people queue up to enjoy the original taste at this birthplace of curry ramen. There is a semi-official group promoting Muroran curry ramen which was established by ramen specialty shops and noodle makers. Now, more than 20 ramen establishments, not only from Muroran City but also Noboribetsu City, Date City and Toyako Town belong to this collective.

勝手丼 / Kattedon


Kattedon is a feature of Washo Market in Kushiro City. Katte stands for ‘as you like’ and Don means rice bowl. At six fresh fish and shellfish shops, one-bite size fresh sashimi (topping on a piece of sushi) is sold, while rice bowls without toppings are sold at side-dish specialty shops. To enjoy Kattedon, one buys just a rice bowl and then buys their favorite toppings at a fish shop. This locale was established many years ago when young men who were enjoyed frugal travel were offered just rice, and a fish shop cut their fish fillets into pieces to sell.

烏賊飯 / Ikameshi


Ikameshi is a local specialty of Mori Town in the southern part of Hokkaido. Two different types of raw rice (one the typical staple, and the other stickier) are put into a squid's body and simmered in special thick soup with a sweet-flavored soy sauce base. The texture of soft squid and gentle sticky rice complement each other nicely. Ikameshi was invented by Abe Shouten, a local bento box shop, in 1941. In those days, a lot of squid were caught off Mori Town and the shop owner needed to make use of them. After exposure at temporary showcases at department stores in Honshu, the dish became famous.