If you’re in Sapporo for the Snow Festival, be sure to check out the Ice Festival on the main street in Susukino, the red light district of Sapporo. The area is very similar to Kabukicho in Shinjuku with its good restaurants, bars, and clubs. The main street is only a 10-minute walk from the Snow Festival in Odori Park and continues as an extension of the Snow Festival, but instead of snow, the sculptures are all made of ice.
The best time to visit the Ice Festival is in the evening after the sun has gone down. Susukino comes to life with the neon lights of the izakayas, hostess bars, and karaoke buildings. The ice sculptures are lit up and tourists crowd along the streets. Some of the artwork featured in 2012 was frozen sea life like crabs and octopus frozen within blocks of ice, a sculpture of the computer-animated pop-star Miku, and intricate dragons and horses. If you’re looking for something besides sculptures, ice bars are scattered along the street with everything carved from blocks of ice, from the seats to beer mugs. There is also a beauty contest called the Susukino Queen of Ice where you can meet the contestants before the event.