Archive for May, 2012


It’s been quite a while since I’ve made a post. This will be the first in a series of my recent travels.

In February I went to the Snow Festival in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

You’re probably wondering what a snow festival is. Think tons and tons of snow shipped in from all over Hokkaido, compressed into huge blocks, and then carved into intricate designs and put on display for everyone to see. Add tons of food and people from all over the world, and you get a snow festival. There were even ice sculptures at the snow festival too.

I only got to go for 3 days, but that was pretty much all I needed.

The festival didn’t officially start until Monday, so Saturday and Sunday were a chance to explore the sights of Sapporo.

The first day was spent in a neighboring city called Otaru where I went to see the canal snow light path. It was snowing and cold, but very beautiful.

DSCN2088

DSCN2100

That day I got to eat some delicious ramen. Hokkaido is famous for delicious miso ramen and crab.

DSCN2078

The second day was a chance to see Sapporo’s famous chocolate factory. At the beginning of the trip I thought the chocolate factory would be a boring, run of the mill factory. Instead, it was like walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The factory owners/operators really tried to make the trip magical by filling the place with a ton of weird stuff, and of course some views into the factory and an explanation of how they make their signature product.

DSCN2190

DSCN2142

I ate some more delicious ramen that day. This is called miso butter corn ramen. There is a lot of butter and corn in it!

DSCN2228

Sunday night was test night for the Snow Festival light up shows. I got some of my best pictures of the huge sculptures.

DSCN2237

DSCN2250

DSCN2249

DSCN2256

DSCN2259

DSCN2261

An ice sculpture that has real crabs and fish in it.

Finally the day of the Snow Festival came. I saw all of the sculptures in the day time, some performances and shows, and stuffed myself with food from Malaysia, China, Russia, and Japan, of course. I wish I had taken some pictures of my food for you all, but it was gone quickly after I bought it.

DSCN2269

DSCN2277

After a great weekend in Sapporo, it was time to go home. I want to go back soon to eat more fantastic food and see more of beautiful Hokkaido.

At the airport we ran into a special friend. Melon bear!

DSCN2345

DSCN2347

I taught my kids the sentence: Kristen looks like food for melon bear. They weren’t as amused as I thought they would be.

Now for your feedback – what was your favorite sculpture?

-Kristen

Well it’s been a crazy year since I came to Japan. Thanks to all my friends here and abroad and my family who helped me through the heartbreak that came in December. I want to start posting pictures and stories about my travels since my last post, but today I thought I would put up a light post about my English boards at school. I didn’t have a way to print anything on a computer until March, so hopefully you can see the quality improvement as time goes on.

August: My first board about Summer!

DSCN1744

September:

020

October:

DSCN1928

November/December:

044

February:

DSCN2348

053

DSCN2349

March:

088

Right now I’m trying a new approach of tying my English board into the class material for each grade, so maybe in a few more weeks I can post a picture of my final product.

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading.

Kristen