Every year more than 200,000 people visit Lake Shikotsu in Hokkaido to view beautiful ice sculptures during the Hyoto Matsuri or Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival.
The ice sculptures take on a beautiful blue color during the daytime and are lit up with multi-colored lights starting at 4:30 in the evening.
The festival features ice slides and horseback riding for children, taiko drumming performances, an ice wedding, and fireworks. The fireworks begin at 6:30 pm every Saturday and Sunday during the festival.
This year the festival kicks off on January 27 and runs through February 19. The attractions are open every day from 9:00 in the morning until 10:00 in the evening. Admission is free, however donations are encouraged.
From Shin-Chitose airport, you can take a bus to the Shinkotsuko bus stop (takes approximately 55 minutes). The cost is 1,030 yen. Or you can take a taxi, which takes about 40 minutes and costs 7,000 yen.
Date: January 27 – February 19, 2017
Time: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fee: Free admission
Website: http://hyoutou-special.asia/ (in Japanese)
Transportation: There are two options from Shin-Chitose airport
- Option 1: Bus to Shikotsuko bus stop – about 55 minutes/1,030 yen
- Option 2: Taxi – about 40 minutes/7,000 yen