As we get closer to Christmas, Facebook is happily reminding me about the time I spent in Japan. Fantastic photos of Sapporo’s illumination festival are popping up and making me miss my home away from home.
Sapporo has Odori Park, a long green strip down the center of its city. Overnight, it becomes an entire mini German village, with mini log cabin stalls managed by German people. German food stands and malt wine are everywhere. Santa can even be seen wandering around the village. It's amazing to see the detail in the event. This has been happening since 2002, in partnership with Sapporo’s sister city in Munich, Germany.
The city also installs a beautiful display of lights and art installations. This is the best photo spot in the city. People come in droves to walk through tunnels of twinkling lights and sit in domes of northern light projections. People come and perform throughout the month of December as well. I went to watch students of Hokusei Gakuen sing Christmas carols. Unfortunately, I left before i could see the snow sculptures, but I've seen pictures and they are mammoth.
These are the things that make me happy. The amount of effort that goes into building these events. The planning, the work, and the people. 2 years later and I am still thinking about December in Sapporo.