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Hokkaido : Yuki Matsuri

Welcome to Sapporo's Snow Festival!! Every year, the first week of February, the northern capital of Hokkaido gets all dressed up and brings art to the main street called Odori.

Mono no aware (物の哀れ), literally "the pathos of things", also translated as"a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of impermanence (無常 mujō), or the transience of things, and a gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing. In Japan, Cherry Blossoms symbolise clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse and because of the blossom’s short life span, an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life which is embodied in the concept of ‘mono no aware’.

I believe that Japanese are particularly charmed by ephemeral things. Their architecture is based on wood, so it's somewhat ephemeral, resilient to time and the fury of Nature. If it's burnt down, you can build it back again. The society of the eternal youth, the ritual of wrapping, the fireworks and the mannered geishas. It's not that your inner honne (本音) doesn't count, just that the temae (手前) or appeareance towards others is relevant - specially in formal settings.

This is just my reading, I may well be wrong. But the yuki matsuri appears to me as a winter version of the sakura viewing. So let us walk you through such chilly beauty, the day before it was destroyed by Komatsu Cranes - as a security measure.

February 11th is the National Day of Japan. Hence, lots of families went together to enjoy the rare event of a National Holiday among the cute snow structures.

Anpanman, we've talked about him, right? He's the single most famous character in Japan. His head is a bread filled with red bean paste and gets swapped every single day. Who wouldn't like a superhero whose head is an edible yummy bun?

Totoro, the most successful figure created by Ghibli Studios.

Now we start talking, here come the big buildings!

And the puppets - as usual.

Fun to see that the Thai Embassy recreation is being swipped - same brushes as in Koh Tao!

My favorite, The ICE Palace <3 p="">

Well… Japanese people are nothing without their tabearuki (食べ歩き) or walking munchies.

The group! Japanese-Spanish-Swedish carrying a salmon and two mini-santas… Sounds like a joke.

Super famous pop group - have no idea what their name is - with a bunch of fans jumping like crazy. NOTE : It's a TEENAGE GIRL BAND, but most fans are ADULT MEN O_O

Fantasy figures around a temple from Horiguchi-san hometown. That horse was gorgeous, though ruined by the lottery event.

Audi, was also there.

More ice, which is what I really like.

As the night falls in, the figures awake on a different look. Somewhat crispier, if I may say so.

The ways of 食べ歩き are inexorable.

Hokkaido, home of the best seafood in Japan.

Thai Embassy, at night.

Anyone know him? Pi… Ka… Chu!

Here we are, where we started. Time for exploring the area of guest countries and amateur figures.





Cute chibi couple.


Salaryman's stomach ulcer - KEEP THE ART FLOWING!

The worst enemy of Anpanman.

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