There are many local festivals (matsuri) held in the various towns and villages in the area. These festivals are highly recommended as they provide the chance to both meet the locals and sample regional cuisines. All towns have matsuri which usually incorporate the local “meibutsu” (famous local product) into festivities.
Kutchan Jaga Matsuri
The Kutchan area is famous for its potatoes and the Jaga Matsuri is a celebration of that, and a chance for the town to get together and celebrate the peak of the summer weather. Each year, thousands of people turned out to enjoy the event which is the Kutchan’s biggest summer festival. Held every August.
Sapporo Snow Festival
Since 1950, the Snow Festival has grown into an international event and is the biggest and most spectacular festival in Japan, and a major tourist attraction. Every winter local and international teams compete in the Snow Statue Contest in which sculptors create fantastic art out of snow and ice. Hundreds of beautiful and elaborate snow statues and ice sculptures dot the area, some the size of multi-story buildings, and it is these massive sculptures in particular that have made the festival famous. Held every February.