How to Enjoy the Sapporo White Illumination

This winter, come to Sapporo, Hokkaido to experience the 740,000 lights illuminating the cities’ parks and streets. The combination of the colorful lights and snow is truly marvelous. In this article, we will familiarize you with the Sapporo White Illumination.

🎉 During the event 🎉

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When is it?

This year’s Sapporo White Illumination will be the 42nd one, and will be held from November 22 2022 to March 14th 2023.
Please note that the opening times will vary from venue to venue.

What is the Sapporo White Illumination?

The first Sapporo White Illumination took place on December 12th 1981. It was one object decorated with 1048 lights. Since then, it has gotten bigger and bigger every year. It is held with the intention of being an “opener” for the Sapporo Snow Festival.


The Sapporo White Illumination will be held at the following 6 venues.

Odori Venue

At the Odori venue, various illuminations will be available to view between 1-chome and 6-chome.
There is a massive christmas tree near the Sapporo TV Tower in 1-chome. Come take your Insta photos here!

Ekimae-street Venue

The rows of trees running from JR Sapporo Station to Susukino will be dressed up in bright white lights, turning this street into one of the main attractions.

Minami Ichijo-Dori Venue

The local Ginko trees are decorated with pretty winter lights, and the bright white snow creates a marvelous backdrop for the rich color palette.

Sapporo Kita 3-jo Plaza (Akpla)

The three primary colors of light (red, green, blue) will be mixed to create an animated spectacle that visitors can enjoy at their leisure.

Sapporo Station South Exit Station Plaza Venue

Utilizing high-tech projection mapping, a dazzling light-show reminiscient of the biggest raves in the world is on display — a truly inervating experience.

Christmas in… Germany?

The 21st Munich Christmas City in Sapporo

Visitors may enjoy a variety of both Japanese and German foods and drinks. Some popular German foods are sausages and pretzels, and the yearly favorite drink is the German hot mulled wine which is perfect to counter the cold, snowy weather. You can even get a exclusive, limited-time only mug cup. The Munich Christmas City in Sapporo event is held at Odori Park between November 22nd and December 25th. It was first held to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Sapporo and Munich, Germany, and has grown in size every year since its conception in 2002.
There are live performances held on stage, and there is also an open air market where visitors may browse and purchase various German-themed goods. There are also stove-heated tents that you can eat where you will be nice and cozy even in the winter cold. There is even a Santa Claus who may hand out gifts to young children.
Munich Christmas Market in Sapporo offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor events. Please find the event you want to visit from the event schedule below.

Things to know before going

Dress Appropriately!

Hokkaido in wintertime is especially cold, with some places having meters of snowfall.
November to March are especially cold months in Hokkaido where the temperatures will regularly fall below 0.
Dress accordingly — Snow caps, mittens, thermal underwear, scarves, snow boots, and heavy, waterproof coats and pants are a necessity. Do not underestimate the cold!

Various Fees

There are no fees to enter any of the various venues. However, at the Munich Christmas in Sapporo Venue, there are a variety of events and activities which may have some fees, so it’s best to check the event pamphlet at the official website beforehand.


There is no Official Sapporo White Illumination parking lot, so please use the paid parking lots nearby if driving there.

Official Website

The official website can be found here and the pamphlet can be downloaded here.

How to get there

Each venue can be accessed on foot from JR Sapporo Station. When visiting the venue, we recommend heading to JR Sapporo Station first. Please see the map below for the location of each venue.

Thanks for Reading!

We’d like to thank visitors like you who make all of this possible.
Come to the Sapporo White Illumination 2022 – 2023 and enjoy winter the Japanese way!
If you’d like to know more about what you can do in Hokkaido, please take a look at our Top 10 Things to do in Hokkaido article here!
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