The Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri) is a sub-zero spectacle of larger than life, beautifully sculptured snow art. The yearly extravaganza takes place in Hokkaido’s prefectural capital of Sapporo. The streets are adorned with snow sculptures, ice sculptures, illuminations and projection mapping.

The 70th annual Sapporo Snow Festival has just kicked off over the weekend and there's plenty of brand new frosty designs to be seen by visitors.

Sculptures promoting a new movie or game are a common sight, and this year festival-goers got to witness this awesome Star Wars creation. Fans of the series even brought their light sabers along to join in the illuminated fun of the evening.

Every year the scupltors take on an iconic piece of architecture from around the world, this time around it’s the Helsinki Cathedral, and the Finnish embassy in Japan were there for the big reveal.

Another staple is the Hatsune Miku sculpture, fans of the iconic vocaloid (animated singer) are lucky enough to see her in spectacular colour thanks to projection mapping.

It wouldn't be a celebration of Japan's pop culture without a nod to Pokemon.

There are also plenty of references to local culture, such as horse racing.

The giant snow sculptures might dominate the coverage, but visitors can also be treated to a more delicate art, the beautifully carved ice sculptures.

As ever, many of the attention grabbing snow creations were helped along by the Japan Self-Defense Force.

The Sapporo Snow Festival is going on until 11th February this year.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.