Ice Sculpture Festival

There just are times when you unexpectedly walk into something beautiful.

The first thing we saw when we entered Isezaki Mall in Kannai were two huge blocks of ice facing each other across the street, both positioned upright unlike the one below. This one’s a bit melted already since I took it much later so yeah, the blocks of ice were initially really big.

A few steps farther, we saw this. What with the midsummer heat scorching us, I sort of envy the flowers. But husband pointed out I wouldn’t be able to move. Yeah. Right.

A few steps farther and we discovered there were several big blocks of ice spread out on the street mall. We did some purchases (more books for Atsushi and wooden clips for me for a wedding e-group friend) and when we went out the shopping store, we saw that each big block of ice was already manned; each person manning the ice blocks were already busy chiselling ice, with sharp-looking tools right beside them.

She’s the only woman among the 21 sculptors but she’s handling the big ice saw (?) quite efficiently.

Was sitting just right in front of her hence it was colder in the area near my seat; the chipped-off ice released its cold as it took in heat.

An ice sculpture in progress.

Turned out it was a couple of dolphins. Featuring Atsushi.

A mermaid.

A cockfight. We saw this much later and hence was probably already past its glory as we can’t make out the two cocks fighting anymore. The other sculptors were luckier they had a tree nearby to protect their work. No tree for this one though.

I found this one beautiful.

It was called, in Japanese, “Something to be Protected”. This beautiful bird’s eggs are indeed something to be protected.

Apparently, it was a contest. These two men were among a number of people walking around with checkboards with them, marking their grades for each sculptor on a sheet of paper.

A Kanagawa Ice Sculpture Committee member tallying scores.


Hubby with the trophies.

A woman committee member was writing the participant sculptors’ certificates, shodo-style. Shodo is the Japanese calligraphy or the traditional artistic writing of the Japanese characters. Her penmanship is beautiful and amazing. Such control!

We didn’t wait for the official tally results to be announced but based on the initial results, the winner was “Tama, abunai!” which literally means “cat, dangerous!”.

A photo with the winning sculpture.

The ice sculptors were amazing, making something artistic and beautiful out of something that would just eventually melt. And they have to race with time and the sweltering heat which threatens to melt their masterpiece no sooner than they were finished.

Witnessing the ice sculpture festival reminds me of a loooong-time dream to witness the Snow Festival in Hokkaido. Hopefully someday.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jackie
    Aug 07, 2011 @ 17:37:53

    awwww…ate marj. how could we miss out something like THAT? hemingways, thanks a lot for sharing. and yes, snow festival in Hokkaido would be more than fascinating i bet.


    • atsushiandmarjorie
      Aug 07, 2011 @ 17:41:47

      honga Jackie eh. And you were just a few steps away! and definitely, Hokkaido’s snow festival is much more fascinating. Now, if I could only convince Atsushi to brave the cold hehe (wasn’t able to convince my travelmates before). thanks for the visit Jack! 😀


  2. Ingrid
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 22:22:36

    Nice pictures Marj! 🙂 Cute ni Atsushi parang bf-gf on a date lang kayo! Hahaha and it’s nice that he’s actually having fun here ha! You mentioned shy siya diba, pero look at the pictures mukhang go na go! Hahaha


    • atsushiandmarjorie
      Aug 11, 2011 @ 20:39:33

      Hi Ms Ingrid! Haha, yeah, especially now that we still don’t have babies, we still feel like bf-gf. I even sometimes refer to him as my boyfriend haha. It was just the two of us in that “sightseeing” kasi so game na game sya with his poses. 😀 thanks for the visit and comment Ms Ingrid! 🙂


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