Sapporo Snow Festival Goes Online Only for 2nd Year in a Row Due to COVID-19

The festival was set for a February return... until cases rose again

"Yuki Miku Glowing Snow Ver."

Snow Miku from last year's online event


After things started heating up in the preparation for this year's Sapporo Snow Festival, things have been forced to cool down as COVID-19 cases rise across Japan from the omicron variant. The committee for the festival confirmed last night that for the second year in a row, the Sapporo Snow Festival will be online only, with no snow sculptures in any of the usual festival locations.


This announcement comes days after the festival started pumping snow into Sapporo's Odori Park late last week to begin preparations for the event that was scheduled to start on February 5. The event was already scaled down from the last full event in 2020, with only Odori Park set to receive sculptures, but due to the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in Japan, which hit a record 41,000 yesterday, the committee found it hard to hold the event which usually attracts people from all over the world. Hokkaido is also looking to implement COVID-19 measures on Friday as cases topped 1,000 for the first time ever during the pandemic.


Instead, the event will be held online with a few snow sculptures set up in an undisclosed location and streamed online through a video for the world to see. The online event is set to start on February 5 and run until February 28 with details to be confirmed at a later stage. The 2021 event was also held online for the first time in the history of the then-71-year-old event.


Sources: NHKSapporo Snow Festival website


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Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram

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