Rob and I rushed to get to Asahikawa in time to visit the old, famous sake museum and brewery. We got there is with about 3 minutes to spare, which meant all the bus tours were leaving.
In addition to the factory and brewing equipment, the museum had a collection of ukiyo, woodblock prints, featuring the brewery. I liked the one above, if for nothing but the title.
I really liked their dry sake but it was 5400 yen for the bottle. Yikes!
Next, we headed for one of the two in town michi no ekki. The one was stayed at was about 1.1 km from the train station where the ice sculpture walk begins. After exploring the michi no ekki (there was a car show going on) and cooking dinner, we headed that direction. The train station, a shiny new edifice, is connected to a mall with fancy food court. We browsed our way through to warm up before braving the cold once again (~ -6 deg C) to view the sculptures.
Clearly, the contest had just begun because of everyone was in the process of stacking their ice blocks into a general form. It was neat to see all the different tools of the trade: metal plates in hot water baths, water squirt bottles, hand planes, scoring devices and flat stick saws. The sculptures nearest the station were team projects where as we walked northward, the individual competition took over.
Finally, we reached the other section with slides and snow sculptures.
Before leaving the next morning, we dropped by to see the carvers’ progress.