Monday, September 18, 2017

Mt. Rokko Ice Festival

Mt. Rokko Ice Festival 2014

The Mt. Rokko Ice Festival was an event that was held for a few years around 2014 but it has not continued in recent years. The 2015 ice festival was scaled back due to warm weather but the Garden Terrace venue did have an ice workshop at which visitors could sculpt small blacks of ice into wine glasses (I found that it was impossible to get my ice glass back home on heated public transportation).

Snowfall is quite rare in Kansai. There are several places in which artificial snow is used such as the Imamiya Ebisu summer festival and some ski slopes on Mt. Rokko.

In February of 2014 there was a light snowfall in Osaka and heavy snowfall on Mt. Rokko. At that time the Mt. Rokko Garden Terrace hosted an event in which artists sculpted blocks of ice into arts of work and family friendly events.

The main feature of the festival were the artistic ice sculptures. Most of these were on a human sized scale; about two meters of ice on a pedestal or pallets (for moving) with multi-colored LED lighting. The were also carnival attractions that were crafted out of ice; an ice slide, ring toss and igloos.
The festival also had a heated foot bath and hot foods.

In the photos you can see that the larger sculptures are made from slabs of ice that were stacked and melted together. The layers of ice make the shape of the sculptures more difficult to discern in  photos.
This ice horse and cupid won second place at the festival.
Rokko Shidare Observatory
The Mt. Rokko Cable Car is the most popular way to reach Rokko Garden Terrace but you can also reach the top by bus on roads that lead to the venue.
A nautical theme for this mountain that overlooks the sea.
The ice sculptures were kept in the parking garage for Garden Terrace.
Cranes. Flying creatures were a popular theme. 
An angel.
A phoenix.
An ice vase. The fruit is also sculpted.
An ice sledding slope was popular with kids. The ride was free.
A portable shrine being carried by four ice people. Note that another phoenix tops this mikoshi.
Pegasus and a winged centaur.
A phoenix.
A heated footbath with special mineral water.
The ice slide in use.
A phoenix state that won first prize.
The winning sculpture by Kawashima [Toyo?]- "Tenshi no Serapia"
A horseback samurai.
An ice castle with an assortment of small sculptures.
A swan with with silk flowers frozen into the ice.
Swan and dancer.
An angel.
A mountaintop view of Kobe.
Tiger and Dragon.
Various winged creatures.
A flying fist.
Another view of Kobe.