Shinrin Park Halloween and Winter Illumination Welcome sign inside the central gate

Shinrin Park (aka Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park) confirmed today, September 2nd 2022, that they are planning to host their annual Halloween night in the Forest again this year. They had it in both 2020 and 2021 too for the record, despite the record. And I for one was very grateful we were able to keep up our one of our favorite Halloween traditions as a family in Japan, despite the pandemic. We have visited this event almost every year since it started. It is so much fun for the kids to walk around a park at night. Especially one that has Halloween decorations!

Halloween night in the forest 2022

In 2021, the Halloween night in the forest was on weekdays only for the first time ever. This year, 2022, it is back to the usual way – on weekends only (including Friday nights). However, it is only for two weekends this year. The 2022 Halloween illumination dates are Friday October 21st to Sunday 23rd and then from Friday October 28th to Sunday the 30th. The park will open between 5 and 8.30 pm, on dry nights only, for the occasion. They announce on their website by 2 pm if the event will be cancelled due to rain. Because this is an outdoor event.

Halloween illumination in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, Halloween night in the forest

Approximately 500,000 lights are used in art installations depicting Halloween motifs. The lights are in the area around the central gate and the walkway to the botanical garden house. Both the central gate and botanical garden house have large displays. The central gate has a bubble blowing pirates ship and the botanical garden house / arboretum has a talking tree!

There is no additional charge for the event, but you do need to pay entry into the park. In addition, parking is charged, but at a reduced rate to day time. Its usually 300 yen for night time parking during the illumination events. (There is a shuttle bus too – more on that in information section).

Halloween decorations Shinrin Park
You can see some Halloween decorations daily in the park during the period

In a normal year, if you come in full Halloween dress-up / costume you receive a sweet treat from staff. However, I believe this has been suspended due to the pandemic. In 2020 they gave us a badge instead of food, but there was nothing in 2021 and there is currently no mention of dress-up / costumes in 2022.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the Halloween light up, another special illumination event will start in the park in the middle of November. All the deets here!

Art project / installations

Halloween Shinrin Park
One of the 2017 installations

Each year they also have art installations and an art project on display for the whole period of night illumination called “Harmony with Nature”.  Also, they normally have craft workshops from 5 pm on most of the evenings that the night illumination is on. Reception for these events are on the day and you can’t book in advance. However, there is currently (September 2nd 2022) no mention of workshops in 2022.

During the period they sell limited edition, Halloween themed food, at the central gate and in the Arboretum restaurant. You can also get fluorescent candy floss, a big hit with kids, at the maple cafe which is located along the walk to the Arboretum.

Usually on the last Sunday night they also have a night time tree climbing event. However, it is currently not scheduled for 2022. I have left this information in the post, for future reference! It costs 1000 yen per person and is limited to 10 people per session for children older than four years old.

Halloween Night in the Forest Illumination Information

There are three night illumination events at Shinrin Park in total: Halloween night illumination, Autumn Leave Illumination and Starlight Christmas illumination.

In previous years parking was free after 5 pm in the central gate parking area only, but since 2017 they charge ¥300 per car. However, only the central gate is open – all the other car parks will be closed at night.

Dates: Friday October 21st to Sunday 23rd and Friday 28th to Sunday the 30th of October.

Time: from 5 pm. The flyer says its on until 8.30 pm, but the event post says its until 8 pm. Either way, last entry is at 7.30 pm.

Cost: the Halloween event itself is free, but you do have to pay entry into the park as an adult. It costs 450 yen per adult. There is no entry charge for children. Also, individual workshops and related events – such as treeing – are also charged.

Access

You can get a bus from Kumagaya station and from the Tobu Tojo Line Shinrin koen station. The park have confirmed they will have a shuttle bus from Shinrin Station during the period of the night illumination. It was free until 2019, but it was 200 yen for adults in 2021. They currently state on their website that they will post the price of the shuttle bus at a later date.

Free shuttle bus timetable:

The bus goes from Shinrin Koen Station at 17:00, 18:00 and 19:00. From the central gate to the station at 17:30, 18:30, 19:30 and 20:05. In the past there was also a 20:35 bus too, but that stopped with the pandemic because the park was closing at 8 pm until this year. The park is opening a bit later this year, until 8.30 pm, but currently there is no 8.35 pm bus scheduled as you can see above.

Official website

First published on insaitama.com on September 30th 2016. Republished on September 2nd 2022.

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