In April 2010 my wife Haidee and I moved to Nagoya, Japan. In April this year, we moved to Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, the northern-most island of Japan. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is a fairly large, bustling city. But as far as Japanese cities goes, it is without question one of the most convenient and comfortable cities to live in.
It is summer here now, which means mild sunny days, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. It also means outdoor festivals. Sapporo is most famous for its winter snow festival, but the representative summer-time festival is the Yosakoi Soran Festival.
Sapporo Yosakoi Soran Festival – Youtube video
Apparently, this traditional dance festival was imported from the southern-most main Japanese island of Kyushu in 1992, and has now taken on its own northern flavour here in Sapporo.
Streets are cordoned off (which also give rise to the festival being called The Traffic Jam Festival), and large teams of dancers compete for varying degrees of honour. Massive flags are swooped over spectators’ heads, crowds strain to see the fruits of a whole year’s worth of practice by the committed teams.
The size of the event is massive. There are over 20 separate locations where the dances take place in the city, and over 300 teams participate each year.
Just one more thing which makes Sapporo an awesome place to live 🙂