Festivals & Events
Tokamachi Snow Festival 十日町雪まつり
Celebrate the snow in Tokamachi
The annual three-day Tokamachi Snow Festival is a winter festival in Niigata Prefecture that showcases snow sculptures created by local artists and school children. These sculptures are found throughout town in all shapes and sizes.
- Admiring the snow sculptures
- Sipping the free sweet, non-alcoholic rice wine offered at the festival
- Sliding off a snow-slide on a huge car tire
How to Get There
Tokamachi Snow Festival is easily accessed by public transit.
By train, take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo-Yuzawa Station. Transfer to the Hokuhoku Line and get to Tokamachi Station. From here you can walk to all the festival areas. Alternatively, once in town you can take a bus around the town on weekends for a low flat fee.
Heavy snow, warm drinks, and sculptures
Tokamachi receives heavy snowfall every year and local residents and shopkeepers build snowmen around their houses and along the street while the festival is taking place. Free amazake—warm, sweet rice wine—is commonly offered to visitors during the festival.
Most snow sculptures are in the shape of famous cartoon characters or traditional Japanese symbols. Besides sculptures, expect to find snow slides and festival food stalls around the community centers.
The main show
The 90-minute “Snow Carnival” show held at Tokamachi Elementary School at night is the highlight of the festival. It features a large stage made of snow and many performances on it. These include singing, light displays, dance, kimono catwalks, and pyrotechnics.