2020 Matsumoto Castle Ice Sculpture Festival: Warming Up

Sat, Feb 1, 2020

If you’ve come all the way to Matsumoto you’ve likely been looking forward to seeing the castle in all its Edo Era glory.

Then you get here and there are plastic barriers and orange cones, tarpaulins and tools, scaffolding and power cords and forklifts all over the place. At first glance it might be disappointing.

Then you see the ice.

This is an excellent weekend to be visiting Matsumoto Castle.

The air is a bit warm for the middle of the Shinshu winter; temps today were well into the forties. But once the sun goes down the mercury is going to drop several degrees below zero. And it will be then that the artists start doing their thing.

It’s quite a production, getting all those tarps and tools and blocks of ice in place. If you are in Matsumoto right now (I know, what are the chances, but still) head over and check it out!

As with the creation of many things – even the most beautiful things – there’s a physicality involved. Seeing the labor that goes into the creative process can make one appreciate the beauty that much more.

You can witness the sculptors in action all this evening and through the night, into the wee hours of the morning. When the sun comes up tomorrow – and the weather forecast looks great! – Matsumoto Castle will be fronted with the kind of beauty only labor can create.

If you’ve come to Matsumoto Castle this weekend, you are indeed in luck.