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Hokkaido University started out in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College, the first modern academic institute in Japan.   Its curriculum which combined agricultural and civil engineering disciplines was developed following that of the Massachusetts Agricultural College and classes were taught by foreign experts.  Since the Japanese government’s purpose of setting up the Sapporo Agricultural College was to develop Hokkaido, an untamed land, using the advanced knowledge of foreign faculty and subsequently Sapporo Agricultural College graduates, civil engineering education in Japan started in earnest at Hokkaido University.  





Sapporo is the fifth largest city of Japan with a population of more than 1.8 million.   It developed as the main urban center of Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan and became well known internationally when in 1972 it became the first Asian city to host the Winter Olympics. Sapporo is also famous for its annual Snow Festival, in which massive ice sculptures adorn Odori Park in the city center.


Sapporo residents are friendly and the city itself is rich in natural environment.  One can enjoy the magnificent view of mountains, which are covered with lush greenery in summer, vibrant colored leaves in autumn and white snow in winter.   Sapporo is generously endowed with parks and gardens and laid out in an easy-to-follow grid plan. The mountains that attract skiers and snowboarders rise up to its south, while the coast is less than thirty minutes away.  


Hokkaido is home to a rich variety of foodstuffs, and Sapporo is a great place to find fresh seafood, dairy and agricultural products.  Nationwide surveys consistently rank Sapporo as one of Japan's most desirable places to live.  


The New Chitose Airport, 30 minutes by train to Sapporo, is linked to numerous airports within and outside Japan.






The event began in 1950 when six students built snow statues in Odori Park. The idea caught on and today teams of talented professional sculptors come from around Japan and the world to create hundreds of statues and sculptures from ice.


These amazing creations range from small, intricate pieces to huge structures the size of multi-storey buildings.


There's a support program of concerts and cultural events, and at night the sculptures are beautifully illuminated with colored lighting.


The 63rd Sapporo Snow Festival will be held from February 6 (Mon.) through 12 (Sun.) in 2012.