The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan’s major winter events. The city of Sapporo has hosted the event since 1950 when six local high school students built six snow statues in Odori Park. Today, the other venues are Susukino and Tsudome. About two million people come to Sapporo every year to see a large number of splendid snow statues and ice sculptures. For seven days every year, Sapporo turns into a winter dreamland of crystal-like ice and white snow. A highlight of the event is the international snow sculpture contest, which this year drew 11 teams from various regions of the world. This gallery brings together the best photos from many years of the festival.