Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2007-02-08_jp-sapporo.htm
I visited 札幌 (Sapporo, Japan) for the first time on 08-10 February 2007 to attend 札幌雪祭 (Sapporo Snow Festival) and to discover 北海道 (Hokkaido). The festival is famous in Japan for its ice and snow statues but there is more to see, and the trip is really worth it. I was lucky with the weather as it snowed every day, sometimes heavily, but with periods that allowed clear photos. I enjoyed the city and the locals, even spontaneously being talked to by customers at a coffee shop, which never happened in 東京 (Tokyo).
Alone, I freely wandered in town the first day, exploring the streets, relaxing with a warm coffee, and watching statues on day time and night time. The following day, I went up the nearby 藻岩山 (Mount Moiwa) to enjoy beautiful but slightly foggy views from its top. There, I stumbled upon a bar completely made of ice and snow by artists: the bar The Ice, where I had a drink and chatted with the staff and fellow tourists. On my last day, I relaxed and enjoyed views away from the city, at 豊平峡温泉 (Hoheikyo hot spring), an open-air hot spring surrounded by snowy foresty mountains that I definitely recommend.