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The 2024 Winter Festival ended on February 12.

The Asahikawa Winter Festival (旭川冬まつり, Asahikawa Fuyu Matsuri) is Hokkaido's second largest winter festival after Sapporo's Snow Festival. The festival takes place over a week in early February, about the same time as the Sapporo Snow Festival. Hence, it is possible for winter visitors to visit both festivals on the same trip as the two cities are only an 80 minute train ride apart from each other.

While Asahikawa may not be able to boast having Hokkaido's biggest winter festival, it certainly has one of the biggest snow sculptures. Every year one massive sculpture is made as a stage for music and other performances. The giant sculpture of a Korean fortress in 1994 even made into the book of Guinness World Records as the largest snow construction built.

The giant snow sculpture is located in the riverside Asahibashi Site, one of two festival sites, which is named after the nearby bridge. Other attractions found at this site vary from year to year, but usually include several smaller snow sculptures, snow slides, snowmobile rides, horse-drawn sleigh rides and an ice bar. The Asahibashi Site also serves as the location for the festival's opening and closing ceremonies, and a small, daily fireworks display.

The festival's second site is the Heiwa Dori pedestrian street, which leads over roughly one kilometer from Asahikawa Station to the vicinity of the Asahibashi Site. About 50 ice sculptures are displayed there, to be judged in an ice sculpture competition. For the first few days of the festival the sculptors can be seen at work, after which the sculptures are left on display. The sculptures look particularly attractive in the evenings when they are illuminated.

Getting there and around

The Heiwa Dori pedestrian zone leads from Asahikawa Station for about one kilometer through the center of town. From its end, it is about a 10-15 minute walk to the festival's Asahibashi Site by foot. Alternatively, there are free shuttle buses that run about every 30 minutes between Asahikawa Station and the Asahibashi Site during the festival.

How to get to and around Asahikawa

Hotels around Asahikawa

Top rated in Asahikawa
Budget:
    • Mimatsuso Ryokan
      Budget-friendly
      Offering affordable Japanese-style accommodations, Mimatsuso Ryokan is a 5-minute drive on the free shuttle from JR Asahikawa Train Station. Traditional souvenirs such as origami and bookmarks are offered to guests for free. Free Wi-Fi is available. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. Yukata robes, a TV and a trouser press are included in each. Bathrooms and toilets are shared. Guests can store food in the shared fridge and use the free-use launderette. Japanese meals are served at the shared dining room. Guests can reserve a private dining room, which has a capacity of up to 4 people. Ryokan Mimatsuso is a 10-minute walk from Tokiwa Park and a 30-minute drive from Asahiyama Zoo. Various shopping malls are within a 5-minute walk from the Ryokan.
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    • Asahikawa Ride
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi and a shared lounge, Asahikawa Ride offers accommodation in Asahikawa, 10 km from Asahiyama Zoo and 600 metres from Tokiwa Park. Around 600 metres from Asahikawa Museum of Art, the property is also close to Asahikawa Science Center. Local points of interest like Kaguraoka Park and Ayako Miura Literature Museum are reachable within 2.3 km and 2.3 km, respectively. All rooms in the guest house are fitted with kitchenette with a kettle, microwave and toaster. Each bed in the dormitory rooms has a reading light and socket. A safety deposit box is provided for each guest. There are storage facilities including ski and snowboard equipment. Guests at Asahikawa Ride will be able to enjoy activities in and around Asahikawa, like skiing, cycling and mountain climbing. The guest house staff can assist guests with local information and tourist destinations. Sutaruhin Stadium is 2.1 km from the accommodation. The nearest airport is Asahikawa Airport, 13 km from Asahikawa Ride.
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    • JR Inn Asahikawa
      Mid-range
      Open from March 2015, JR Inn Asahikawa offers simple accommodation directly connected to JR Asahikawa Station. A public bath and laundry facilities are available on site. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property. Featuring a minimalistic design, all rooms are fitted with original pillows and a flat-screen TV. Shower facilities are provided in all rooms, while only some rooms come with a bathtub. Asahikawa JR Inn is a 35-minute drive or airport limousine ride from Asahikawa Airport. Asahiyama Zoo is a 30-minute drive away. There is an Aeon shopping centre adjacent to the hotel. The hotel offers various facilities and services including free luggage storage. Parking is available on site for a fee. A buffet breakfast is available at the on-site restaurant.
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    • HOTEL AMANEK Asahikawa
      Mid-range
      Set within 37 km of Kusawakebosai Center and 48 km of Azumamachi Hall, HOTEL AMANEK Asahikawa provides rooms in Asahikawa. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage space and free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is located 25 km from Chomin Center. At the hotel, each room includes a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV. All units at HOTEL AMANEK Asahikawa include air conditioning and a desk. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Tokiwa Park, Asahikawa Yojo Station and Ayako Miura Literature Museum. The nearest airport is Asahikawa Airport, 15 km from HOTEL AMANEK Asahikawa.
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    • Y's Hotel Asahikawa Ekimae
      Mid-range
      Located 25 km from Chomin Center, Y's Hotel Asahikawa Ekimae offers 3-star accommodation in Asahikawa and has a restaurant. The property is set 37 km from Kusawakebosai Center, 48 km from Azumamachi Hall and 2 km from Kaguraoka Park. The hotel features a sauna, a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Y's Hotel Asahikawa Ekimae every room comes with bed linen and towels. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Popular points of interest near Y's Hotel Asahikawa Ekimae include Ayako Miura Literature Museum, Asahikawa Yojo Station and Tokiwa Park. The nearest airport is Asahikawa Airport, 15 km from the hotel.
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    • Hotel Route Inn Grand Asahikawa Ekimae
      Mid-range
      Just a 3-minute walk from Asahikawa Station, Hotel Route Inn Grand Asahikawa Ekimae offers accommodation with private parking on site. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Decorated in natural earth tones, all carpeted rooms feature air conditioning, heating and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. An air purifier/humidifier, electric kettle, hairdryer and refrigerator are provided. The private bathroom comes with a bath, shower, free toiletries and high-tech toilet. Guests can unwind in the public bath on the 17th floor that boasts a city view. Free ironing services are available at the 24-hour front desk. The property offers a drinks vending machine and coin-operated washing machine. Meeting facilities, fax and photocopying services can be arranged for an additional fee. A Japanese and Western-style buffet breakfast including freshly baked bread is provided at the on-site restaurant La Mer. There is a coffee shop and convenience store on the ground floor. Ayako Miura Literature Museum and Asahikawa Museum of Art are 10 minutes by car from the property. Hotel Route Inn Grand Asahikawa Ekimae is a 35-minute drive away from Asahiyama Zoo and Asahikawa Airport.
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    • Hotel WBF Grande Asahikawa
      Mid-range
      Set in Asahikawa, 25 km from Chomin Center, Hotel WBF Grande Asahikawa features a spa and wellness centre and views of the city. With a restaurant, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The hotel offers a sauna and a 24-hour front desk. At the hotel, the rooms include a desk and a flat-screen TV. Hotel WBF Grande Asahikawa features some units with mountain views, and every room is equipped with a kettle. At the accommodation all rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. A buffet breakfast is available every morning at Hotel WBF Grande Asahikawa. The hotel offers a hot spring bath. Popular points of interest near Hotel WBF Grande Asahikawa include Ayako Miura Literature Museum, Asahikawa Yojo Station and Kaguraoka Park. The nearest airport is Asahikawa Airport, 14 km from the accommodation.
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    • Dormy Inn Asahikawa
      Mid-range
      Dormy Inn Asahikawa is a 10-minute walk from JR Asahikawa Train Station. It offers modern accommodation with a large public hot-spring bath and free in-room wired internet. Guestrooms offer both air conditioning and heating facilities. Each room is equipped with a fridge, an electric kettle with green tea, and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. A humidifier and a trouser press are also provided. Guests can enjoy a relaxing bath at the natural hot spring bath located on the hotel’s top floor. Sauna facilities are also available. Other facilities include a coin-operated laundrette. Complimentary Japanese Yonaki (Ramen) noodles are available from 21:30-23:00 on a first-come, first-served basis. Hot coffee is also served from 15:00-23:00 to guests arriving to the property. Asahikawa Dormy Inn is a 40-minute drive from Asahiyama Zoo and about a 10-minute drive to Kamikawa Shrine.
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    • 9 C Hotel Asahikawa
      Budget-friendly
      Situated in Asahikawa and with Chomin Center reachable within 25 km, 9 C Hotel Asahikawa features a shared lounge, non-smoking rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and a bar. The property is set 37 km from Kusawakebosai Center, 47 km from Azumamachi Hall and 2 km from Kaguraoka Park. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. At the hotel, rooms are equipped with a desk, a TV, a shared bathroom, bed linen and towels. The rooms will provide guests with a fridge. Guests at 9 C Hotel Asahikawa can enjoy an Asian breakfast. Speaking English and Japanese, staff are willing to help at any time of the day at the reception. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Asahikawa Yojo Station, Ayako Miura Literature Museum and Tokiwa Park. The nearest airport is Asahikawa Airport, 15 km from 9 C Hotel Asahikawa.
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    • RENGA1909 Stay ASAHIKAWA
      Budget-friendly
      RENGA1909 Stay ASAHIKAWA is set in Asahikawa, 47 km from Azumamachi Hall, 1.4 km from Asahikawa Yojo Station, as well as 1.8 km from Ayako Miura Literature Museum. Built in 1909, this 1-star ryokan is within 25 km of Chomin Center and 37 km of Kusawakebosai Center. The ryokan offers rooms with air conditioning, free private parking and free WiFi. At the ryokan, the units come with a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. A fridge and kettle are also featured. There is a coffee shop on-site. During the colder months, guests can enjoy winter sports in the surrounding area. Tokiwa Park is 2 km from the ryokan, while Kaguraoka Park is 1.9 km away. The nearest airport is Asahikawa Airport, 13 km from RENGA1909 Stay ASAHIKAWA.
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