The city of Sapporo on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido has been hosting the Sapporo Snow Festival since the early 1980s. Each February the city’s streets are decorated with snow and ice sculptures celebrating the beauty of winter. The sculptures range from enormous - grand buildings, temples and monuments, to smaller and more finely-detailed - pop culture characters, animals, and historical figures.

In addition to countless snow and ice sculptures created purely for the love of art and winter, the festival draws competitive sculptors from all over the world for annual competitions that take place in different sites around the city.

“The event has set several World Records, including the audience-participatory construction of the most snowmen ever made in one place (over 10,000 – a record which still stands). The next installment, now the 65th Sapporo Snow Festival, will be held this February 5th through 11th in 2014.”

[via Beautiful/Decay and Weird Twist]

Tomoe Gozen in Jidai Matsuri

The geisha Fukuteru of Miyagawa-cho portrays Tomoe Gozen, a famous female warrior, in Kyoto’s Jidai Matsuri. The 2013 Jidai Matsuri will be held in 9 days, on October 22.

Some years geiko and maiko participate in Jidai Matsuri, and some years they do not. For me, the highlight of the festival is viewing and photographing the ornate and historically accurate armor of samurai through the centuries. Seeing a few geiko and maiko is a nice bonus, though!