lake shikotsu

Lake Shikotsu’s Colorful Ice Festival

  • 25
  • 01
  • 2018

We all know how snow and bright lights go so well together. And we’ve already featured a dozen articles featuring Japan’s numerous illumination events to back that up. But we honestly haven’t had enough so here’s another one for the books!


The Majestic Lake

The lake was formed due to a volcanic activity which occurred over 40,000 years ago. It’s the second deepest lake in Japan with a maximum depth of 363 meters.

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Another amazing thing about Lake Shikotsu is it doesn’t freeze in most winters.

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The Festival

Hundreds and thousands of tourists hit the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival every year to witness dazzling ice sculptures that lit up in colorful tints and hues around 4 pm.


During daytime, ice sculptures retain their charm as they shift into creations of beauty in blue.

The festival begins on January 26 and runs until February 18, 2018, with fun interactive activities and musical performances.

You can definitely feel the festive vibe when you see Taiko drummers perform live.

Adults and children experience a fun-filled celebration complete with horse-back riding and gliding off slides made of ice!

Fireworks displays also light up Chitose’s skies during Saturdays and Sundays by 4:30 PM.


Of course, the celebration wouldn’t be the same without glorious food to fill our tummies! Hokkaido has one of the most diverse food cultures in Japan.


You can literally have anything from rich, flavorful broths to scrumptious fried chicken and seafood, or you can just go for fresh and raw!

Getting There


From Shin-Chitose Airport, you can get on the bus going to Shinkotsuko Bust Stop. It’s a 55-minute trip which costs 1,030 Yen.

You can also ride a cab, which can take you to Lake Shikotsu in 40 minutes but would cost around 7,000 yen.

Location Details


Lake Shikotsu


Shikotsukonsen, Chitose-shi, Hokkaido 066-0281

Event Date

January 26, 2018

Hours & Fees

9:00 am - 10:00 pm (Light up : 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm) | Free Admission

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