Sparkling winter nights in Sapporo are truly magical, especially during the annual White Illumination event. Starting in late November, the city comes alive with festive displays along Odori Park, Ekimaedori, and Minami-ichi-jo Dori. These dazzling exhibitions coincide with two of Sapporo’s most famous winter events: the German Christmas Market in December and the Snow Festival in February. Let’s take a closer look at each of these celebrations and discover the enchantment they bring to the city.
The White Illumination is a spectacle that shouldn’t be missed. As you stroll along Odori Park, you’ll be surrounded by colorful illuminations that create a mesmerizing atmosphere. Each block of the park has its own unique theme, whether it’s walkways made of twinkling lights, giant glowing snowflakes, or towering trees adorned with sparkling decorations. It’s the perfect setting for couples and families to capture memorable photos. The White Illumination at Odori Park lasts until late December, giving visitors plenty of time to experience its beauty.
Another area that shines during the White Illumination is Ekimaedori. This street is transformed into a winter wonderland as every tree is wrapped in strands of lights. The result is a breathtaking backdrop for an evening stroll. Along the way, you’ll find numerous bars and restaurants where you can warm up with a piping hot bowl of ramen or indulge in other delicious treats. The illumination at Ekimaedori lasts until mid-February, allowing visitors to enjoy its simple yet elegant charm.
Minami-ichi-jo Dori is another must-see location during the White Illumination. This street is lined with glowing ginkgo trees and large illuminated sculptures that create a dazzling spectacle. The lights reflect off the melting snow, adding an extra touch of magic to the surroundings. The illumination at Minami-ichi-jo Dori continues until mid-March, ensuring that visitors can bask in its beauty for an extended period of time.
Aside from the stunning illuminations, Sapporo also hosts two other major winter events: the German Christmas Market and the Snow Festival. The German Christmas Market is a beloved tradition that brings a taste of Germany to Sapporo. Held in December, the market features various stalls selling traditional German food, drinks, and crafts. Visitors can indulge in bratwurst, mulled wine, and gingerbread while browsing for unique gifts and souvenirs. It’s a delightful experience that adds to the festive spirit of the city.
The Snow Festival, held in February, is one of the highlights of winter in Sapporo. It attracts millions of visitors from around the world who come to marvel at the incredible snow and ice sculptures. The festival takes place at three main sites: Odori Park, Susukino, and Tsudome. Odori Park is transformed into a snow sculpture exhibition, featuring massive creations that depict famous landmarks, characters, and scenes. Susukino, Sapporo’s entertainment district, showcases intricate ice sculptures that are illuminated at night, creating a magical atmosphere. Tsudome offers various snow activities and attractions for both children and adults to enjoy. From snow slides to snow rafting, there’s something for everyone at the Snow Festival.
Getting to these attractions is easy, as they are conveniently located near Sapporo Station. You can choose to take a quick two-minute subway ride or enjoy a leisurely 15-minute walk south to reach Odori Park, Ekimaedori, and Minami-ichi-jo Dori. The Namboku and Toho subway lines both have stops at Odori Station, making it accessible for both locals and tourists.
During your visit to Sapporo, be sure to take advantage of the special photo spots that are set up at each of these locations. They provide the perfect opportunity to capture the beauty and magic of the winter celebrations. Additionally, vendors throughout the city will be serving hot drinks and snacks to keep you warm as you explore the festivities.
It’s important to note that the information provided is subject to change, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. To stay updated on the latest details and any potential changes to the events, it’s recommended to check the official website.
In conclusion, Sapporo’s sparkling winter nights are enhanced by the three massive celebrations: the White Illumination, the German Christmas Market, and the Snow Festival. These events bring a sense of enchantment and joy to the city, with beautiful illuminations, delicious food and drinks, and incredible snow and ice sculptures. Whether you’re capturing memorable photos, enjoying a leisurely stroll, or participating in snow activities, Sapporo offers a winter experience like no other. So bundle up, embrace the magic, and create unforgettable memories in this winter wonderland.
Address And Maps Location:
4 Chome, Odorinishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido