This is the biggest festival on the summer calendar for the Niseko region is the Kutchan Jazz Festival. The two day event is usually held on the first weekend in July and boasts a huge line up of local and international Jazz artists. Musicians play everything from traditional Jazz to contemporary unplugged rock compilations. Tickets offer good value at ¥8,000 for the two full days and evenings of music and frivolity. Further details on the event, what artists are performing and the exact dates it is held each year can be found at the Kutchan Jazz Festival website.
The city of Sapporo is approximately two hours by bus or train from Niseko in winter. In late January and early February of each year the city hosts one of Japans largest winter events, the international snow festival. The festival is held in Odori Park which stretches from east to west through the center of downtown Sapporo. A huge variety of snow and ice sculptures are on show with some sculptures spanning sixty feet in height. The size and scale of the sculptures is truly impressive. Several snow stages are scattered amongst the sculptures providing a variety of entertainment. The dates change slightly each year so it is best to check the Sapporo Snow Festival website.
Technically not a festival but more an event some would even argue a challenge and a large one at that. The NAC adventure race series features several races throughout summer with differing race formats of a big swim, off road triathlon, off road duathlon, adventure race and a kids series. The series caters to everyone from complete beginners to season veterans with good support from the organising staff. Further information can be obtained from the NAC Challenge Series website.
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