Japan Hokkaido private tour
Licensed Tour Guide take you to the last frontier of Japan!!

支笏湖氷濤まつり(Shikotsu-ko Hyouto festival )

This is a representative winter festival in Hokkaido. 

This festival is held at Lake Shikotsu near New Chitose airport. 

The water of Lake Shikotsu is clearer than other lakes in Japan. 

The statues of ice created over a period of about two months are made by spraying lake water onto frames using sprinklers for 24 hours. 

They are lit up with colorful lights creating a mystical atmosphere.

I visited Houto festival in January. 

Hyouto festival is being held annually from late January to mid-February. 

From car parking you go down to the Lake Shikotsu and will be surprised because Lake is not frozen even in freezing coldness of Hokkaido winter. 
Just next to the lake there is a place for Hyouto festival. 
At first, you need to go through tunnel made of ice. 

This is shrine made of ice. 
We can easily recognize this is shrine because in front of ice building there is a Torii gate. 

We basically offer money into offertory box before praying. 
However at this ice shrine we use unique style to offer money. 
we put coins on surface of ice and pray! 

After sunset ice pillars and buildings are illuminated.  It is romantic and just beautiful. 

This is ice aquarium at Hyoutou festival. 
You can see many spices of fish frozen inside ice. 

Can you imagine what this is? 
This is ice cave. 
Pine leaves are frozen with ice. 

It is so cold outside during winter season in Hokkaido. 

However, if you have chance to come to Hokkaido in winter.  You can not miss this festival.  I am sure you are surprised by beautiful ice arts and romantic night illumination.