2017 Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival: Dates and Highlights!! Kamikawa Town, Hokkaido

Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival, Kamikawa Town, Hokkaido

  • Location: Sounkyo Onsen, Kamikawa Town
  • Dates: January 25th (Wednesday) to March 20th (Monday)
  • Access: 30 minutes by Dohoku Bus from JR Sekihoku Main Line Kamikawa Station to Sounkyo, get off at the final stop and walk 5 minutes. 25 km by car from Asahikawa-Monbetsu Expressway Kamikawa Sounkyo IC via Route 39 towards Sounkyo. http://www.sounkyo.net/event/detail.php?id=3 (Official Website of the Sounkyo Tourism Association, Hokkaido)


The Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival was conceived in 1976 under the guidance of Toshiro Takenaka, a sculptor from Eniwa City, Hokkaido, known for creating a statue of Shakushain in a 10,000 square meter area along the Ishikari River in Sounkyo, a premier tourist destination in Hokkaido. The festival, which focuses on ice, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2005. http://hokkaido-lovers.com/hokkaido/sightseeing/hyobakumatsuri

Organized by the Sounkyo Tourism Association, the festival is held annually starting in late January and ends in March. The venue is expansive, and the nearby area is filled with hot spring resorts.


In the extreme cold, ice pillars, ice tunnels, and ice domes created over a long period by spraying water are displayed and illuminated at night.

All the exhibits are bathed in mystical light, and the view from the main observatory, which stands about 13 meters high, is exceptional. http://hokkaido-lovers.com/hokkaido/sightseeing/hyobakumatsuri

In Hokkaido’s winter, even waterfalls tumbling down sheer cliffs freeze solid, forming immense icefalls. The ice structures along the Ishikari River are lit in seven colors, creating a magical atmosphere.

Additionally, fireworks are launched on weekends, coloring the winter night sky.


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