Japan’s largest and most northern prefecture boasts the greatest skiing in the world. My four day “ski break” weekend in February was the perfect opportunity to hop on a plane with a few friends and fly an hour and a half north of Tokyo, to Hokkaido Island’s capital, for a short vacation in the snow.

Sapporo, best known for its brewery, is actually one of Japan’s most populated cities with close to two million residents. That population doubles during the Sapporo Snow Festival every February, when tourists pour in to see the hundreds of carved snow statues and ice sculptures around the city. We were too late to see the festival, but our break coincided with Chinese New Year; we joined a flood of vacationing tourists nonetheless.

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