Getting Around SIAF2024

Beginner’s Guide: FAQ

This is my first time at SIAF!


What type of event is SIAF? What can I see?

Sapporo International Art Festival (SIAF) is a unique art event that brings the world’s latest artwork to Sapporo once every three years. This year, with the theme “Last Snow,” SIAF2024 brings together the artwork and programs of more than 80 artists from around 10 countries, primarily at six major venues in the City of Sapporo.

More info:
One of SIAF’s unique characteristics is that it doesn’t just feature long-established forms of artwork like paintings and sculptures, but also a variety of media art pieces that focus on themes like society, life, and the human condition, and how they have been changed by digital devices such as computers and communication technologies like the internet.


Where should I go first?

Begin your journey with a visit to the Sapporo Cultural Arts Community Center (SCARTS)! On the first floor of the facility, there is an information desk that provides you with comprehensive information on the festival. Whether you want to buy tickets, get tourist information, or just take a quick break, this is the place to go.
Link: SCARTS Venue Details


Is there anything that can only be seen at SIAF2024?

New work created by artists exclusively for SIAF will also be on display (at the Future Theater, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo Cultural Arts Community Center (SCARTS), and more). There will also be pieces that can only come to life in specific places and spaces. Works created in the past and pieces from museum collections may even have a new, unique look at SIAF.


Are there other ways to enjoy the festival than just looking at artwork?

A number of events will also be taking place during the festival. Find your favorite from a wide variety of workshops, talks, music events, stage performances, and more.
Link: Event Calendar
To add to this, there is also some unique content that you can enjoy as you make your way around the venues or even from home. We hope you enjoy SIAF2024 to the fullest, whether it be by viewing the artwork or in other ways.
Link: Enjoy SIAF More


There are a lot of venues – do I have to go to them all?

Another great way to enjoy the festival is to immerse yourself in one venue. Individual venue tickets are also available. Each venue has a different concept, and each is sure to offer something different for you to discover. If you are planning to visit two or more paid venues, purchasing a Passport Ticket could help you save money!

More info:
Another attraction of SIAF is that you can learn more firsthand about the local history and climate, and enjoy sightseeing and local cuisine. In between visits, why not take a break at one of our recommended food spots nearby the venues?
Link: Venue Details Link: SIAF2024MAP


Can anyone join in?

Of course! Residents of Sapporo, visitors from outside of Hokkaido and from overseas are all most welcome. If you’d like to get to know the City of Sapporo, too, we recommend our City Walking Tour where you can get around SIAF2024 creatively. Be sure to check it out!
Link: Tours


Is there anything I should prepare in advance?

Festival venues are located in both the central and suburban areas of the city. We advise planning the routes you will be taking in advance. You can find recommended visitor itineraries created by the SIAF Secretariat on our website. It can take a long time to get around Sapporo in winter due to weather and road conditions, so it’s a good idea to give yourself extra time.
Link: Recommended Visitor Itineraries

This is my first time in Sapporo in winter!


What kind of clothes should I wear?

Winter in Sapporo gets very cold and there is a big difference in temperature between the well-heated indoors and the cold outdoors. Please refer to the Welcome to Sapporo site (link) to view recommended clothing for December to February.
Link: Welcome to Sapporo


Is there anything I should know?

Here are some things you should know about traveling in Sapporo in winter:
① Streets are often frozen over and very slippery, and snow shoes with non-slip soles are an essential. Anti-slip soles that can be hooked or stuck onto your shoes are available at convenience stores and other retailers.
② Low temperatures deplete phone charge more quickly, so a portable charger will be handy.
③ Public transportation is often delayed due to snow, so be sure to allow plenty of time to get around.
④ It is very dangerous to drive if you are not used to snowy roads. Please instead make use of public transportation or bus tours.


Are there any exhibitions or programs that can only be enjoyed in winter in Sapporo?

At Moerenuma Park, a SIAF exhibition is taking place in the Snow Storage space which is usually not open to the public, and at the Sapporo Snow Festival, SIAF’s Future Snow City will appear at the Odori 2-chome Site!

More info:
Snow in Moerenuma Park is gathered at the end of winter and then used to power the summer air conditioning system. The huge space used to store this collected snow is called the Snow Storage.


What are some recommended local foods?

SIAF2024 features hot local cuisine nearby recommended by venue curators, and desserts created in collaboration with the festival.
Link: Hot Local Food
Foodies can also find much more on the Sapporo tourist information website, Welcome to Sapporo.
Link: Welcome to Sapporo Information on Local Food

This is even my first time going to an art museum!


Can I enjoy the festival even with no artistic knowledge?

At SIAF2024, you won’t just “look” at the artwork, but rather “experience” it. First and foremost, try visiting the venue you are interested in. You might discover something new by reading guidebooks distributed at the venue, or by taking a guided tour led by the curators and support staff who organized the exhibitions. Link: Guidebooks Link: Tours
Link: Guidebooks Link: Tours


What are the rules?

At SIAF2024, a variety of artwork is on display for visitors to not only look at but also to take part in and experience. In order to ensure that as many people as possible can safely enjoy the various types of works, different rules have been established at each venue (e.g., do not touch the artwork, refrain from photographing some/all of the works, etc.). Please refer to the signs at each venue.


Can I take photos, and can I upload them to social media?

There are many works that may be photographed, but the rules differ depending on the venue and piece of art. In some cases, video recording and the use of flash and tripods is not allowed. Please refer to the notices at the entrances of venues and in front of the artwork.


Can children come, too?

Children are very welcome at the festival! There is artwork that can be touched and enjoyed, as well as hands-on artwork that children are encouraged to take part in. Some areas are dark and require careful footing, so please follow staff guidance and signs at the venues. For information on stroller rental/stroller storage, availability of nursing rooms, etc., please click here→Link: Facility Information

What even is SIAF (Sapporo International Art Festival)?


How long has SIAF been running for?

The first ever SIAF took place 10 years ago in 2014. The first edition was held in 2014, and the second in 2017. Unfortunately, the third edition in 2020 was cancelled, but an online program and introductory exhibition were held as “SIAF2020 Special Edition.
Link: SIAF Archive


Why is SIAF2024 being held in winter?

In 2014 and 2017, SIAF was held in the summer. While many art festivals are held in Japan and internationally, it is rare to hold a winter festival in the midst of snowfall. Even from a global perspective, Sapporo is the only city with such a large population with such a large amount of snowfall. We believe that winter is the best time to showcase the charm and characteristics of Sapporo, so for the first time, the festival will be held during the winter.


What does the SIAF Director do?

There are many art festivals in Japan, and the role of Director differs from one to another. At SIAF, however, the director selects artists who are appropriate for the theme of the festival and shapes the art festival by utilizing their ideas and knowledge. SIAF2024’s Director is OGAWA Hideaki, who is involved in cutting-edge art projects at cultural institutions in Linz, Austria.
Link: About the Festival