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Something Different: Hokkaido for Kids

Moerenuma Park

photo Moere Mountain (Photo courtesy of Moerenuma Park, taken by Namiki Hiroo)

Located next to the Satorando snow festival venue is Moerenuma Park, which was completed in July 2005. Occupying 189 hectares, this unique park was created based on the last wishes of the late sculptor Isamu Noguchi, who envisioned the entire park as a complete sculpture in itself.

The park is dotted with various structures, including the Sea Fountain, which shoots a fountain of water up to 25 meters into the air; the Glass Pyramid (nicknamed Hidamari), which houses restaurants and shops; and a mountain that brings to mind ancient ruins.

photo Moerenuma Park from the air (Moerenuma Park)

In the summer, the park's plush green expanse provides locals with a place to relax. When winter comes, though, the green becomes blanketed with snow. The park stays open during the winter months and offers its own brand of winter fun.

Moere Mountain, located within the park, is 62-meters high, and features a gentle slope that is ideal for sledding. Although real skis are not available, "walking skis" and snow shoes, which allow users to enjoy walking on the snow, can be hired. Children who grow up in big cities don't often get the chance to experience this type of winter fun. The field of snow stretches as far as the eye can see.

photo Many of the objects in the park have a fun shape. (Photo courtesy of Moerenuma Park, taken by Namiki Hiroo)

An art festival titled Snowscape Moere was held at the park from December 2005 to February 2006. The event included concerts, workshops for children and their parents, and a "snow village" created in the snowfields within the park by artists from Japan and abroad and local students. Many children took part in these winter events, which could only happen in a place where so much snow falls. It would be hard to find a winter art festival like this anywhere else in the world.


From Sapporo Station, take the subway to Kanjo-dori Higashi Station (it takes five minutes). From there, it takes 25 minutes by bus.