Sapporo’s event-packed, lively spring and summer
post date : 2018.07.25
【From a Coordinator for International Relations for Sapporo City】
Hello! This is Mihyun Lee, Korean Coordinator for International Relations for Sapporo.
Having just moved to Sapporo in April of last year, I naturally had not visited Hokkaido even once before that. Up until then, my impression of Sapporo was that there was a lot of snow, and it was famous for the Snow Festival. However, by actually living here I discovered that various events are being held throughout the spring and into the summer, not just in the winter. Accordingly, I would like to share with you all the events held in the spring and summer here in Sapporo.
(Photo taken from the Sapporo Sightseeing Photo Library)
As mid-May arrives and cherry blossoms which announce the beginning of spring in May come fluttering down, the lilac trees in Sapporo are in full bloom. Held at the same time in Odori Park is the Lilac Festival. At this event you can enjoy the warm spring sunshine and scent of lilac to the fullest, and there are plenty of events for children so it’s lovely to have a springtime picnic as a family here. Japanese cultural experiences such as the outdoor tea ceremony and chigiri-e (a traditional art form using colored washi paper which are torn up to create images) can become great memories not just for Japanese children but also for those visiting from abroad. Food carts selling delicious food are also indispensable to Japanese festivals. At the Lilac Festival, you can enjoy cuisine from around the world made from Hokkaido-grown ingredients.
June is the start of a vibrant summer here in Sapporo, and also when the Yosakoi Soran Festival is held. Attracting an audience of 2 million and with roughly 30,000 participating dancers, this large-scale festival can be called the “signature early summer tradition in Hokkaido.” Here you can see a parade of former grand prix teams, rent out naruko hand clappers and happi coats at the 7 Chome venue, and jump in and dance along as a spectator. I definitely recommend this for anyone wanting to create some special memories. In the Northern Food Park you can try teppanyaki style grilled foods and cuisine including desserts from all over the country, so why not try some delicious things after watching the parade? Through the Yosakoi Soran Festival, can experience the lively early summer in Sapporo to the fullest.
In the middle of June, the Hokkaido Shrine Festival is held, which boasts 100 years of history. The Hokkaido Shrine Festival, called the Sapporo Festival, is held from June 14th to the 16th every year, and is loved by the citizens as a festival representing Sapporo. On the 16th, you can see the spectacular lineup of omikoshi palanquins (aka “portable shrines”) with over 1,000 participants. Many food carts are set up at the Hokkaido Shrine and in Nakajima Park, creating a lively festival atmosphere. The Hokkaido Shrine also holds many traditional dedication events so those looking to experience a unique Japanese festival should certainly find their way over the Hokkaido Shrine. I believe you will truly be able to feel the one-of-a-kind Japanese atmosphere.
I’ve introduced three of the events held from May through June, but this is only a fraction of the festivals held in early summer in Sapporo. There are many types of events held one after the other during the summer like the Pacific Music Festival (PMF), Sapporo City Jazz, and the beer gardens. For those planning on visiting Sapporo in the summer, I hope you enjoy the summer events in Sapporo.