Yeeeeeeeah National Holidays!!!
We had a National Holiday on a Thursday so Ikuya and I took a road trip to Asahikawa to see the final day of their winter festival.
We drove out on Wednesday night to catch the mars-like laser show in Tokiwa Park.
One thing is for sure.... Asahikawa is waaaaaay more freeeeeezin' than Sapporo!!! Luckily they had a bunch of igloos, and ice bars set up where you can warm up in with a hot chocolate, hot coffee or mulled wine....
Like Susukino in Sapporo, Asahikawa had a bunch of ice sculptures spread out around the town.
The next day we went to the Asahikawa Science Center and Planetarium which opened about 2 years ago... If you have a few hours to spare in Asahikawa I definitely recommend it!!! There are heaps of interactive exhibits and rides as well as a great planetarium show.
Video clips from Asahikawa ;-)
We even found a color wheel and had a little girl spin us the colors so we could do a camera shoot ;-)
After getting spinned about and walking on the moon we went for a big hot bowl of the famous Asahikawa miso ramen at Yoshinos... It reminded me of an American diner... we sat at the counter and watched them sweat over huge pots of ramen and bean sprouts.... it was sooooooo good!!!
After filling our bellies with hot ramen we went to Santa Present Park (great name, eh???)
There was barely anyone there... so we practically had the entire Santa hill to ourselves!!! Which is a good thing because I absolutely stink at snowboarding and can't control my direction or speed! ;-0
In the evening we met up with some of the Asahikawa English teachers to watch the final show at the Winter Festival. They had street dancing performances - my favorite was a hip hop group which had a mix of adults, high school kids and even elementary kids... They were rokkkkkin!
After the dancing there was a short break... we wandered the snow fest and watched the kids fly down the snow/ice slides... They also had a bunch of snow sculptures dotted around...
After the break it was time for TAIKO drumming!!!
These crazy guys came out in the minus minus minus below freezin freezin freezin cold in tiny tank tops to drum away!
They were one of the best groups I've seen... They combined traditional taiko drumming with a modern beat. Heaps of fun to watch!
The finale was amazing because the taiko drummers final beat was synced PERFECTLY with the fireworks over the icy dragon! Great end of the night to our awesome getaway in Asahikawa. ;-)