2020 Matsumoto Castle Ice Sculpture Festival: Cold Beauty & Blue Skies

Sun, Feb 2, 2020

Cold was the heart that wasn’t moved by the ice sculptures on display today at Matsumoto Castle. Those who braved the sub-zero temps last night to see the artists turn blocks of ice into these frozen pieces of beauty could add another layer of appreciation for the creations sparkling in the sun.

And it was that sun, shining in the sapphire blue sky, that made the day unfold like poetry. Today was a good day to be in Matsumoto.

By 9:00 this morning the air was already hinting at a mild and temperate day.

At 9:30 the drums and flutes turned the morning into magic. Man I love that sound.

The judging (I hear) took place around 7:30 in the morning. The winner was this miracle in ice called “Family”. Whether the sculptors were implying that these creatures of the sea are their own family or part of ours is anyone’s guess. But it’s interesting to think about.

Though it was still chilly out there in the early-February morning, it was easy to forget the cold for the ice statues lining the southern moat. Backed up by the castle, the northern Alps and that baby blue sky, this was a scene no group of mere mortals could create with all the chainsaws and ice picks in the world.

For those not completely mesmerized, there were diversions…



…and who’s to tell little kids how to have fun?

For better or for worse, the mercury would rise into the 40s by mid-afternoon. But these sculptures weren’t meant to last anyway.

And besides, there’s always next year to look forward to, here in Matsumoto.