Chilling at the Sapporo Snow Festival

Occasionally I’m just wandering around the planet and then suddenly remember that next year we’re going to Japan.

Like when Tom sent me this great video of the Sapporo Snow Festival, which you can see below. We’ll be there! In the snow looking at those sculptures and eating bowls of hot noodle soup.

In preparation I have two questions for you:

  1. I’d really value recommendations for dressing for snow. I want to be able to be warm but not bulky and not have to carry a lot of clothes because I need lots of room for stationery.
  2. Do you have any recommendations for house sitters? We want our house occupied while we’re away so I’d like to start thinking about this now.

15 Responses to Chilling at the Sapporo Snow Festival

  1. We have a great house-sitter, she is a lovely woman, lives alone and does a lot of house-sitting. We used to get her to stay and look after our cat – much cheaper than a kennel. I could send you her cell if you are interested. I know her mum lives up your way, so she may be keen. As for keeping warm – lots of merino. (Sarah)

  2. ehjc says:

    I lived really near Sapporo. Best advice for Japan is great outerwear. There are underground malls and inside it’s very warm. So best to get a good down jacket if you can. I basically wore normal clothing and then good gloves, hat, scarf and jacket and I was sorted. That’s the best way to avoid extreme layering is to go with serious down.

    I would also recommend good slip on/slip off winter boots with woolly insides. Especially if you plan to walk around outside. If your feet are warm and dry the rest of you tends to be less miserable. I had a really great pair that I still sometimes dream about.

    Happy to talk more in person too Emma! I love Sapporo so can give you tips.

    • ehjc says:

      Also, Hokkaido snow is very dry and in February you shouldn’t really encounter much melt unless it’s a warm year. Which means you don’t need to worry about waterproof legwear in general because you can just brush snow off and unless you’re planning on hiking etc the city has cleared footpaths and you are unlikely to get snow on your legs.

      I keep thinking of more stuff. Hah. Sorry.

  3. lynnjtaylor says:

    I have been in Hokkaido in the snow and it is a country so set up for the snow- like umbrella stands everywhere and heated roads. If you go to Otaru (not far from Sapporo) you might see Kan Shimada san. Do go to the Art Park in Sapporo – there is a complex which includes a print studio and a fab sculpture park. And the Central stationary shop in Sapporo – about 5 stories of gorgeousness – there is a printmaking section – don’t get me started on the brushes.

  4. lynnjtaylor says:

    Research where the 1000 and 100 yen shops are – yah!

  5. katy says:

    Good advice from ejhc; I bought my daughter all sorts of cute warm gear in advance of our visit last winter and it ended up being quite impractical and I spent far too much time messing around with layers and being more worried about her overheating indoors than getting cold outdoors (seriously).

  6. katy says:

    Uniqlo is also stocking some heattech gear already which I would expect to still be available in Feb and is probably cheaper than what is available in NZ

  7. Having done alaska, and also canada at christmas my advice goes like this.

    thermals, get leggings, long sleeve, short sleeve & singlet style. You can layer or de-layer as needed and they dry overnight. Then get a lightweight parka, like a rugby training one and same with over trousers. All these pack up super tiny, and can be purchased from somewhere like rebel sport. You can cute it up with some fun fabric patches, but honestly on holiday i care less about what i wear and more about how fast it dries and an tiny it rolls up.

    Get good waterproof ankle boots that are comfy to walk in. Yes a pair of leather shoes is a bit expensive but really when do they ever go out of style, you could even consider cros like mine 😉

    pack a suitcase inside your suitcase, that’s large enough for cary on, as a woman we can get away with handbag, carry on bag and laptop case. If you use a bac bag as your laptop case you have so much space. Or i have the worlds most awesome backpack for carry on travelling but wheels really are the best. we got our last carry on bags with wheels from flybuys.

    Also what about a nini? i suspect a summer holiday over the hill would suit her to a tee

    • tomandemma says:

      All great advice – thanks. How did we ever dress for travel before social media? Do you think Nini would want to be here for five weeks? That’s how long we’re away.

      • wow 5 weeks i think that gets into school starting. but oh 5 weeks! also summer dresses are a winter travellers best friend, you still feel fun and cute, but they dry super fast and you can fit layers of thermals underneath. 5 weeks = all about the hotel bathroom hand washing or the industrial hotel washer dryers. So leave most precious clothes behind as by the end you will throwing everything into an available dryer. Also any shoes you take make sure you’ve worn them enough so you don’t get blisters Oh and thunderpants dry super fast and i need to make a list, I am the queen of 5-6 week overseas holidays. and mums time with travel agencies taught heaps of tricks

  8. When I went to China I took a cheap jacket that I had picked up in an Op shop. I wore it everywhere then left it in the hotel so I could fit more new handbags in my suitcase. Because it had only cost me about $10 i didn’t care about leaving it behind.

  9. katy says:

    The laundry point is a good one, I know I have been on trips where I paid lots for laundry service but in Japan you should be able to find an inexpensive laundromat or there may even be coin operated machines in your hotel. My usual travelling trick is similar to that above, I save up all the clothes I am planning to throw away and pack these and then shed them as I go.

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