A Village Made Entirely of Ice in Japan Offers Winter Wonderland

Japan may be best known for its historic temples and legendary Mount Fuji, but starting in December, it will also offer travelers a unique winter wonderland to explore.

An ice village—complete with an Ice Chapel (built from a single piece of ice), Ice Hotel, Bar Icewood, and even ice slides—is set to debut on December 10, with a grand opening slated for January 18.

Being constructed on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, average temps at TOMAMU’s winter night will be a brisk -22 degrees Fahrenheit.

For those hoping to have their wedding in an unforgettable locale, the Ice Chapel has been designed to represent “the unbreakable love between two pure souls which shall last forever.” From the altar and crucifix to the wedding aisle and benches, everything in the chapel is made of ice and snow, creating a complete ice-surrounded experience.

At the Ice Hotel, everything from the ceiling to the walls is made of, you guessed it, more ice. The hotel will host one group every day after the business hours of Ice Village.

The Ice Bar meanwhile offers yet another unique experience, with more than 50 kinds of cocktails served in ice glasses at the ice bar counter. Even the ice cubes are to be special—made of water from the subterranean rivers of Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group.

The creators of the village have left no ice possibility unexplored. There’s even an Ice Books & Café that includes ice bookshelves, ice chairs, and a fireplace surrounded by special glass. Recommended books will available to warm you from inside while icy vegetable cheese fondue will be available for snacking. (Think: frozen vegetables served on an ice plate that can be dipped into warm cheese.)

Even children will find something entertaining to explore at this winter ice extravaganza. Among the offerings aimed at young visitors are ice instruments, ice bubble experiences, and ice glass making.

And don’t miss the ice slide, which is apparently the most popular spot in the Ice Village. Even adults are crazy about it.

Searching for still more unique experiences this winter? Check out Sweden’s unique ICEHOTEL, built each year in a tiny town 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle.

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