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5 Recommended Christmas Events in Hokkaido

The snow country of Hokkaido is enveloped in glorious illuminations and a blanket of white snow during the Christmas season, giving it a magical feel. Here are five of the limited Christmas events that you ought to experience in Hokkaido.

1. Sapporo White Illumination

The Sapporo White Illumination is a very popular winter event in Sapporo that features a light display with about 830,000 lights. Various lit objects are lined up at Odori Park, the main venue of the event, with the illumination hours extended during Christmas season. A Munich Christmas Market with numerous booths will also be open until December 24, 2016 (Sat.).

Event schedule:
Odori Park Site: November 18, 2016 (Fri.) – December 25, 2016 (Sun.)
Ekimae-Dori Site: November 18, 2016 (Fri.) – February 12, 2017 (Sun.)
Minami 1-Jo Street Site: November 18, 2016 (Fri.) – March 14, 2017 (Tue.)

1. Sapporo White Illumination

1-12 Odorinishi, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

2. Hakodate Christmas Fantasy

The Hakodate Christmas Fantasy is a romantic event where a fir tree given by Halifax, the sister city of Hakodate, is lit up on the water in front of the Red Brick Warehouses that are a famous sightseeing spot in the region. The Premium Red Tree, when the tree is covered in red lights, is displayed for 15 minutes three times a day. The tree lighting event at 6:00 pm every day is accompanied by fireworks that you will surely love.

Event schedule: December 1, 2016 (Thurs.) – December 25, 2016 (Sun.)

2. Hakodate Christmas Fantasy

Around the Red Brick Warehouses, Suehiro-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido

3. Toyako Onsen Illumination Street

The streets in front of Toyako Kisen’s headquarters are illuminated in blue and white lights during this event. Make sure to check out the Illumination Tunnel at the Nigiwai Plaza. The 70m-long tunnel illuminated by more than 400,000 LED lights and the adjacent 9m-wide dome will make you feel as if you have wandered into a dream world.

Event schedule:
Illumination Street: November 1, 2016 (Tues.) – March 31, 2017 (Fri.)
Illumination Tunnel: November 11, 2016 (Fri.) – March 5, 2017 (Sun.)

3. Toyako Onsen Illumination Street

29 Toyakoonsen, Toyako-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

4. Shiroi Koibito Park Illumination

This event is an illumination event that takes place inside the theme park Shiroi Koibito Park. A 10m-tall Christmas tree, angels and other objects, along with about 250 snowmen, decorate the Sapporo nightscape during the event. You can actually ride on Santa Claus’ sleigh, making it a popular spot for pictures.

Event schedule: November 3, 2016 (Thurs./holiday) – March 20, 2017 (Mon./holiday)

4. Shiroi Koibito Park Illumination

2-2-11-36 Miyanosawa, Nishi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

5. Otaru Snow Story

The Otaru Snow Story is a traditional winter attraction wherein the Otaru Canal, a main sightseeing spot in Otaru, is fully lit up in blue. Otaru is also known as the city of glass, and this will be reflected in the 3m-tall wine glass tower inside the Canal Plaza as well as the Ukidama Tree in the front garden made up of about 200 glass balls used in fishing.

Event schedule: November 12, 2016 (Sat.) – February 12, 2017 (Sun.)

5. Otaru Snow Story

Minatomachi, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido

Hokkaido, also known as the country of snow, is home to various dazzling Christmas illumination events. You should definitely check them out!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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