After our first day skiing in Niseko, I figured it would be a great idea for us to go to the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival since in weekends they would shoot fireworks in the evening. While the festival was fun and worth going to, going on a saturday night was a very dumb idea because many people did the same, and cars backed up in the only street to get there until there was an ever growing traffic jam for the last few miles of driving, which I guess was due to the parking lot having fully filled up.|
Thankfully I was able to use openstreemap to see a side street getting into the town (google maps failed to show it) and talk a traffic guard into letting us take it. From there, we got to the festival within minutes when the normal road was not moving and probably backed up for another 30mn or more. Advise to others: don't go on weekends, the fireworkds were not exactly special and not worth the traffic jam at all. A weekday without traffic is likely a better idea.
The festival, though was fun and pretty, too bad it was almost a 4H drive (return) from Niseko, and the bad traffic jam...