Living in Hokkaido is not easy, the severe cold and heavy snow in the winter can be a real challenge. But organizers made a special event called Shikaribetsuko Kotan, turn the unpleasant cold winter into an asset by offering visitors the chance to experience the beauty of Hokkaido.

The event takes place in central of Hokkaido, Lake Shikaribetsu. It started about 35 years ago by local youths who wanted to make this lonely lake into a place where people can enjoy the cold weather. The idea is simple – Build a village of ice and snow on the entire lake each year!

The lake is one of the clearest lakes in Japan. The large body of water completely freezes over in the winter, making it possible to create buildings on top of the ice, including ice lodges, ice bar lounges and even an ice chapel. Builders get to choose their own design of houses and numbers of beds. The most amazing part is after winter passes, everything that was built or made will melt.

Other activities include the ice theater, a small ice maze for kids, ice cups, sculpture making classes and cross-country skiing.

Besides having beer parties, you can even enjoy the outdoor hot-spring.

The Shikaribetsuko Kotan event is held from January 28 to March 21st. Since the place is in a remote area of Hokkaido, it is best to inquire with a travel agency to help you transport to the area and arrange accommodation. This will surely be a stunning experience to let nature take you away from the digital world.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.