Last year I attended the Snowman Tour put on by the Hakusan International Association, and though it required taking a few hours of nenkyuu, I highly recommend it! The Snowman Tour takes you up to a small town festival that’s difficult to access by bus. You might find it inconvenient that the festival is on a Friday, and that’s because it’s intentionally made to be inconvenient to attend. Shiramine is so small that if too many people attended the festival, it would be impossible to move around there. It’s a small town, Japan-insider’s type of event.
Last year, the snow wasn’t nearly as thick, but there were plenty of little handmade snowmen of all shapes and sizes littering the streets and alleyways. There are foodstands abundantly scattered, and the 2 hours of free time scheduled is even enough for you to relax in the onsen after your adventures in the snow.
When: FRIDAY, February 12, 2010. Approx. 3:00pm – 9:00pm (depends on your bus pick-up point).
Bus Schedule: 2:30pm at Rifare (in Kanazawa), 3:10 at Hakusan International Salon (5 mins from JR Matto Station), 3:20 at Hakusan City Hall. Bus will arrive at the festival at Shiramine at 5:00pm. Bus will leave Shiramine at 7:00pm.
Event: Free time from 5:00pm – 7:00pm. Enjoy the food, snowmen, and onsen!
Cost: Free (but bring money for food and the onsen if you’ll use it).
Bring: warm jacket and boots, a towel for the onsen (if you plan to use it)
Application Deadline: February 3, 2010 – space for 15 people only!
Contact: Keiko Uno 076-274-9520 (English is okay)
Email: k-uno [at] city.hakusan.lg.jp (English is okay)
**Note: This event was advertised to JETs, but non-JETs may be able to join it if they have space and if you ask nicely. I think that they often don’t know how to get information out to non-JET foreigners who live in Ishikawa.
Go on your own!
If you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a bus early on Friday (or Saturday/Sunday). Buses leave from Kanazawa Station, but I believe the last train leaves toward Shiramine at 14:30. Always double check the bus schedule before you head off into the snowy wilderness! If you opt to go by car, the trip will take you about 2 hours from Kanazawa.
Want a bigger snow festival? Check out last year’s post on the Sapporo Snow Festival!