The first morning the kids were so thrilled to get out in the snow. Of course we had to have a snow ball fight on the walk down to the festival.
That first day we just explored the main Snow Festival site, Odori Park. It was 13 blocks of snow and ice sculptures, food vendors, snow slides, and snow shows.
It was pretty overwhelming at first, but so very cool! We were glad we had bought some snow spike guards to put on the bottom of our shoes, since it was really slippery in places.
The food vendors were amazing. It was so cool to see they could just leave all the uncooked seafood and beef out in the cold, and when you ordered they’d grab a piece and throw it on the grill right there in front of you.
John and I tried the crab in a shell, which was topped in a cheesy corn sauce and had seaweed mixed in. Corn is a pretty big deal in Japan. They even have corn sushi at most restaurants, and they almost always put it in ramen.
We walked around and saw some more ice sculptures after lunch and then headed back to the hotel.
After you soak for as long as you can stand, you go back to the showers, and they have soap and shampoo so you can bathe off. Then you dry off and proceed to the line of vanities where you can blow dry your hair and use oils and lotions on your skin before you dress. When I went back in the evening the onsen was crowded with probably near 100 women, all doing their evening routines for bedtime. It seemed very relaxing, and there was hardly any speaking at all. Just silence as everyone quietly processed their day.
Since we all got naps that first afternoon, and had already had our showers for the evening, we decided to go back out to Odori Park to see the light shows. It was a completely different experience at night!