Huge Pop Culture Sculptures Rule at Sapporo Ice & Snow Festival

Article by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus

Mon February 13, 2017 | 13:00 PM

The origins of Japan's Sapporo Ice & Snow Festival date back to the 1950s, but that has never kept the icy and artful event from staying so very au courant.

Each February, the fest unveils a treasure trove of towering sculptures (nearly 400 in total!) fashioned from literal tons of ice and snow, which take over a 12-block stretch of Odori Park in Sapporo. These chilly creations depict everything from life-size renderings of animals and historical monuments, mazes you can explore, and temples and buildings (like the Taj Mahal), to scenes of Japanese life, manga characters, internationally recognizable cartoon characters. 2017 was no different; the stars of 2017's event was a giant, technically complex and exceptionally detailed recreation of Final Fantasy VII characters Cloud and Sephiroth fighting one another. In the video above you can also see trippy projection mapping beamed across the impressive sculpture as visitors stand mesmerized, phones in hand recording the entire experience.

And Final Fantasy wasn't the festival's only hat-tip to pop culture. As in years past, Star Wars also made an appearance with equally incredible projection mapping synced to its famous theme song.

And let's not forget memes – especially ones born in Japan. The PPAP guy got his very own sculpture this year as well.

Stay modern, Sapporo Snow Festival. Stay modern.