Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival 2019 in Hokkaido- Fantastic Ice Wonderland in Chitose



If would you would like to enjoy scenic landscapes and fresh seafood in Japan, then Hokkaido prefecture is the best place to visit! Hokkaido island is the second largest island in Japan, and the largest and northernmost prefecture where is very cold in winter. Here, you can enjoy winter sports, winter festivals, and much more. In this article, I would like to introduce you to Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival which is one of the famous winter festivals in Hokkaido. You will see many types of ice object that are shining in natural blue during the daytime and at night they feature colorful illumination. Also, the festival boasts many events such as fireworks and games. You will definitely feel yourself in a winter wonderland at Shikotsu Ice Festival!

About Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival

Lake Shikotsu is a popular tourist spot in summer, but in winter this place wasn’t too crowded before. One day, local people decided to start an ice festival to increase the tourist flow in winter. They decided to make ice sculptures by spraying water from Shikotsu lake when the temperature allowed it to freeze. About 13 people make the main ice sculptures for a long time. In November they make frames and in December they are spraying water from the lake for 24 hours.

The Lake Shikotsu Ice (Hyoto) Festival started on January 30th, 1979. In 2018, the festival celebrated its 40th anniversary. And now than 260,000 tourists come from Japan and other countries to see this ice festival, which makes it very popular and big event in Chitose, Hokkaido.

About the Event

Fireworks: on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays during the event period, you can enjoy a fantastic night with around 300 fireworks, as well as Wadaiko drum performances.
Hyoto Ice Cut Tournament: Ice cutting game where you can win nice presents.
Flower Present: is an event when you can get colorful flowers from flower friendship cities.
Hyoto Wedding: is a popular event when some couples swear the eternal love to each other at the festival venue.

Enjoying the Festival

Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival is a great event to enjoy with your friends and family. Not only because it takes place by the lake with the clearest water in Japan and features numerous hot springs, but you will also enjoy ice playground equipment and horse-riding at the venue. Children will definitely have a great time. You will find various ice slides, skating ring, end enjoy riding on Hokkaido horses for only 1000 Yen.

Festival Food

Of course, as it is a Japanese festival, there will be much foods stands with a traditional festival and local food. To warm yourself up, I recommend you try miso soup, Oden, hot soba noodles, udon noodles, or Butajiru (pork soup).
Besudes, you can eat at Shikotsu Shopping Street which is above the festival venue.

Details and Access

Dates and Schedule: Friday 25th of January 2019 to Sunday 17th of February 2019
(Illumination: 16:30 to 22:00)
(Fireworks: every Saturday and Sunday from 18:00)
Place: Hokkaido Chitose City Shikotsu Onsen (Hot spring)
Address: Shikotsukonsen, Chitose-shi, Hokkaido
Inquiry: Tel: 0123-23-8288
Official Website (Japanese only):


By Car: about 40min from New Chitose Airport, Japan National Route36, Hokkaido Do16
Taxi: about 40min from New Chitose Airport (Fee about 7000 Yen)
Bus: about 55min from New Chitose Airport (Fee 1030 Yen)

Closing Remarks

What is the most famous winter festival in Hokkaido? Most people think that the Sapporo Snow Festival is the biggest winter festival on the island. However, Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival is also a great event where you can wander around artistic ice objects in a calmer atmosphere compared with the big city. Besides, it is just about 1 hour by car from Sapporo. If you travel to Hokkaido in winter, please visit the Hyoto ice festival! I am sure, you will feel excited about this fantastic ice wonderland when you get to the venue. Finally, I just want to say that you shouldn’t forget to prepare warm clothes for enjoying this festival long enough!

If you would like to wander around this festival and other places in Hokkaido with a local guide, please check the banner below!

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Click here! URL:

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!



I live in Yokohama. My home town is Hiroshima. I have lived in England for 4years.And I have traveled to Europe,so now I want to show you to my country JAPAN!

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