Trump and Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen Feature Among Sapporo Snow Festival's Ice Sculptures

trump in ice sapporo snow festival

Caption: President Trump, an apple and a pen at the Sapporo Snow Festival. Screenshot from ANN News official YouTube channel.

February marks one of the biggest events of the winter in Japan: the Sapporo Snow Festival. For nearly two weeks, two locations in Sapporo, including a large stretch of the downtown, host gigantic ice sculptures as well as winter-themed attractions.

Sapporo is the largest city on the north island of Hokkaido. At least two million people visit the festival each year, making for some great photo uploads on social media.

The ice sculptures that are a highlight of the festival typically reflect pop culture obsessions, and this year is no different. US President Donald Trump and “PPAP” (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen), an absurdist viral video by Japanese comedian PIKOTARO, were both overrepresented at this year's festival, according to one Twitter user:

The festival occurs in two venues, one of which is Sapporo's main boulevard, which stretches through the middle of town.

February 6, 1:30 PM to 2 PM
The live broadcast of the 68th annual Sapporo Snow Festival begins.

The sculptures and attractions are generally gigantic, and take a week or two to create in subzero temperatures.

The Sapporo Snow Festival will soon begin at the Sapporo Community Dome.

While Donald Trump was a favorite selfie subject, there are a variety of sculptures to be seen:

“Bridging cultures across the world” (Trump and PPAP) and the sound of snapping selfies. The Sapporo Snow Festival starts on February 6.

I saw this at the Sapporo Snow Festival.

The festival also features a chance to try local Sapporo delicacies, including a dish of grilled mutton called “Genghis Khan.”

(´-`) .。oO Have you heard? The Sapporo Snow Festival starts today. While there are plenty of snow sculptures, in the “Hokkaido Food Court” there will be servings of freshly roasted “Genghis Khan.” Please come and enjoy!

The main draw of the festival is the ice sculptures, some of which even included a Star Wars theme this year:

Much of the labour needed to create the more massive ice installations is provided by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), which has a number of large bases on Hokkaido. Participating in the Sapporo Snow Festival is a bit of a public relations exercise for the JDSF, a fact that has not gone unnoticed:

A: Why are the Japanese Self-Defense Forces participating in the Sapporo Snow Festival?
B: We're not participating! We're doing training!
A: Training?
B: We're training to build fortifications!
A: What??
B: We're training to build fortifications!
A: Uh….

The JDSF also plays a big role in helping demolish the ice installations at the end of the festival each year.

While the Sapporo Snow Matsuri starts tomorrow (February 1, 2017), the festival doesn't end on February 12; the biggest thrill perhaps on February 13 when the Japanese Self-Defense Forces demolishes everything.

More details about the annual festival can be found here. More photos can be seen by searching Twitter and other social media platforms using the term さっぽろ雪まつり.

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