Last weekend was the 32nd annual Matsumoto Castle Ice Sculpture Festival! Top ice sculptors from around Japan come to participate in this event every year and this year there were 18 teams for the «Championship,» which featured long-time professional artists, and 5 teams for the «Pre-event,» which featured young artists with less experience.
It was a beautiful, sunny weekend perfect for walking around to see the sculptures, but the artists actually carved the pieces during the night! (brrrr…)
Check out some of the amazing pieces that were carved up below:
Some ice blocks even had flowers or other things frozen inside, creating a pretty cool effect:
One of Japan’s most famous ice sculptors, Junichi Nakamura, also participated. He has been an ice sculptor for going on 36 years and has participated in (and won prizes at) contests all over the world, including America, Canada, and Europe! One of his pieces for this year’s festival (below) is an especially intricate work of art.
His other piece was an enormous, 7-meter carving of an image from the Winter Olympics:
And for the kids — an icy slide!!