Sunday, October 4, 2015

Carpe Diem #833 Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month we are celebrating our third anniversary and during this month we are visiting all Japanese Festivals following the calendar. We have seen already a few wonderful Festivals and the Festival of today ... well ... what can I say ... is one of the most wonderful and magical ones. This Festival, Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival, is situated around Sapporo. Let me tell you a little more about Lake Shikotsu first and than I will "show" you the beauty of the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival.

Credits: Lake Shikotsu

Lake Shikotsu is a caldera lake in Chitose, Hokkaidō, Japan. It is a part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
Lake Shikotsu is located in the south-west part of Hokkaidō. It has an average depth of 265 metres (869 ft) and a maximum depth of 363 metres (1,191 ft), making it the second deepest lake in Japan, after Lake Tazawa. It is the 8th-largest lake by surface area in Japan and the second largest of Japan's caldera lakes, surpassed only by Lake Kussharo. It is surrounded by three volcanos: Mount Eniwa to the north and Mount Fuppushi and Mount Tarumae to the south. The caldera formed in the holocene when the land between the volcanos subsided.
Due to its depth, the volume of Lake Shikotsu reaches 3/4 of the volume of Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake, despite of having only 1/9 of that lake's surface area. Due to the small surface area to depth ratio, the water temperature remains quite constant throughout the year, making it the northernmost ice-free lake in Japan. The Bifue, Okotanpe, Ninaru and Furenai rivers feed into it, and its main outlet is the Chitose River.

Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival is an ice festival held in Lake Shikotsu hot springs in Shikotsu-Toya National Park. There are lines of ice sculptures made by spraying water from Lake Shikotsu, which boasts some of the clearest water in Japan, and freezing it. The ice slide, the rink where you can slide around in boots, and the horse rides around the venue are popular with children. From 18:30 on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays during the event period, there is the launching of around 300 fireworks, as well as Wadaiko drum performances. It's just a very attractive festival and there is no specific meaning behind it. It's just for fun and pleasure ... and of course it's a wonderful sight to see those sculptures made by Mother Nature.
ice sculptures
frozen beauty -
breathtaking fragility

© Chèvrefeuille
I think this festival just had to be on our route ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will  remain open until October 7th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new CD Special, later on. For now ... just have fun!

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