The very first night illumination I went to in Saitama, many years ago, was at the Keyaki Hiroba in Saitama Shintoshin. At the time it was one of only a handful of places that had a large scale night illumination display in Saitama. I had moved from Mito City in Ibaraki, which lit up the train station each year, but Keyaki had a completely different feel and I was quite awed by it. It felt quite Christmassy for the first time in all my years in Japan. I’ve been back several times since, but many larger displays have been introduced since then. However, it still remains one of Saitama’s most popular according to online reviews.
Saitama Shintoshin Illumination
Every year Keyaki Hiroba at Saitama Shintoshin (Tamaari Town*) has winter illumination. The theme and name of the illumination changes each year. In 2022, it is “Brilliant Earth Garden“. The Keyaki Hiroba’s winter illumination has remained one of the most popular in Saitama, several online event sites, such as Jorudan, list it as the most popular in all of Saitama Prefecture. Even though its actually not that large in the greater scale of things. But it is easy to access and beside a shopping mall which has even more illumination as well as Christmas events.
*Saitama Shintoshin remarketed themselves as Tamaari Town a few years ago. The name hasn’t really stuck colloquially, but it is used in the official names of events.
About 150 trees are decorated in blue, white and champagne gold lights. They normally use about half a million lights, but last year it was a bit smaller because of you know what! They used about 200,000 lights in 2021. The official website has not yet released the finer details for 2022, so we will have to wait and see how many lights they plan to use in 2022. The displays are set to music.
Each year they also normally have a switch on event with special guests and live performances. For the opening night only, the lights get switched on at 6pm, after a special ceremony. All other nights it gets turned on at 5 pm. They usually have live music and special guests for the opening night event.
2022 / 2023 Information
The winter 2022 – 23 dates are from Saturday November 12th to Tuesday February 14th 2023. This event actually always finishes on Valentine’s night, February 14th.
In addition, there are a number of other events running in conjunction with this event. For example, the Keyaki Hiroba Christmas Market is usually on in the lead up to Christmas. Thankfully, it is back in 2022 for the first time in three years. And it has had a complete make over! This year the Christmas Market is a “very berry Christmas Market”. Also, there is Christmas concerts during the month of December too.
Names of some of the displays in previous years:
- 2021 ~ 2022: was uncharacteristically a repeat of the previous year! “Shining Flyway the Blue Forest”
- 2020 ~ 2021 : “Shining Flyway the Blue Forest”
- 2019 ~ 2020 : “Fantastic Carnival”
- 2018 ~ 2019 : “Fantastic Carnival Magic Box”
- 2017 ~ 2018 : “Blue Flower Dreaming”
- 2013 ~ 2014 : “Blue lights symphony” :
Winter Illumination at Keyaki Hiroba
Event: Tamari Town Keyaki Hiroba Illumination
Date: Saturday November 12th 2022 to Tuesday February 14th 2023.
Hours: 5 pm to midnight
Venue: The area of keyabi hiroba which is between Saitama Shintoshin and Saitama super arena
Address: 2-27 Kamiochiai, Chuo Ward, Saitama City 338-001
Official website – the event is not live yet (October 18th 2022) but they will definitely make it live before the event starts. Please do always check with the official website for any last minute changes. Unfortunately, my own photos aren’t very good from this event, hence I’ve used a couple of photos in the post from this official website.
Tamaari Town Keyaki Hiroba is about a two minute walk from JR Saitama shintoshin Station and about a 7 minute walk from JR Kitayono Station. If you come by car, parking is available. It is charged: 400 yen for the 1st hour, 200 yen for each subsequent half hour. If you spend over 2,000 yen you get 2 hours free. Please do check with the official website for the most up to date parking charges.
First published in Autumn 2013, updated every year since. First complete republish October 18th 2022!