Candle night Tokorozawa Sakura Town as part of the winter illumination

Information for the fourth annual winter illumination display at Tokorozawa Sakura Town. This year they are just calling it “Sakura town winter light up”. It is later to start than any other year and will be on for a shorter period this winter, 2023 – 2024. Information for the Christmas Candle nights also added on December 12th 2023.

Tokorozawa Sakura Town

Tokorozawa Sakura Town has shops, restaurants, museums, a factory, offices, a public open space, event space, and a shrine. There was an anime hotel too, but unfortunately it went out of busier earlier this year.

A summary of what’s available:

Illumination at Tokorozawa Sakura Town

The inaugural night illumination at Tokorozawa Sakura Town was in 2020. The entertainment center only opened (after many delays) in the summer of 2020. The maiden illumination was called “Fuyu Hanami”. Fuyu means winter and hanami means flower viewing, particularly cherry blossom viewing. And of course the “sakura” of sakura town means cherry blossom. Accordingly, the theme of the first winter illumination was cherry blossoms. In 2021~22 the theme was “Hajimari no Hikari”. In 2022 ~ 2023 the theme was Green Circus. But this year there is no theme as such, its just called “Winter Light Up”.

2023 – 2024 Winter Illumination

From the official website

On Friday, December 1st, they will turn on part of the illumination. The town’s symbolic tree, the 12 meter tall ‘koyamaki’ Japanese umbrella pine Christmas tree, and the area around Kadokawa Musashino Museum will be lit up. The second part will start from mid-December, around the lawn area, where they will display original decorations and objects, mainly by artists with ties to Tokorozawa and Saitama, for the Christmas period. They also plan to carry out ‘fun projects and mechanisms’ to enliven the event.

Fortune telling illumination!

Torii lit up at Tokorozawa Sakura Town

In addition, the torii of the Cool Japan shrine are lit up at night too. They have been lit up nightly for about two years now, due to popularity. When you walk through the torii the light changes color. The color represents your fortune! For example, white means your financial luck will increase.

Christmas Market and Workshops

They are planning to have a Christmas market the weekend before Christmas, but have not yet released the finer details. As of December 12th 2023, the information is still not available, but they have provided information about their workshops. They will have two workshops, although one of them is not very Christmassy. That is on Friday December 22nd, from 4 pm, and is a sea shell workshop. The other workshop is a Christmas one: a festive flower arrangement. That is on Christmas Eve, December 24th, between 10 am and 5 pm.

Candle Nights

There will be three ‘candle night’s during the period of the illumination. Which will be Friday December 22nd, Saturday December 23rd and Sunday December 24th 2023. The candle illumination will be on from 4 pm to 8 pm. On the first candle night there will be a DJ and the other two nights they will have live music. There will be a handful of food trucks there each night.

Illumination at TeamLab Acorn Forest

Sakura Town is also home to a permanent outdoor exhibition by TeamLab. Unfortunately, it no longer opens nightly, just on the weekends and public holidays. Moreover, it is closing permanently January 8th 2024. In addition, there are LED anime manhole covers that you can see on the walk from the station to the Higashitokorozawa park where the Teamlab is.

Gundam the Origin LED Manhole covers in Saitama Prefecture Tokorozawa Sakura Town

There is seriously so much to do in Tokorozawa / Sayama area that you could spend a week enjoying all it has to offer. Here is just a small sample of things you can do in Tokorozawa / Sayama.


Event: Tokorozawa Sakura Town Winter Light Up. ところざわサクラタウン 冬のライトアップ2023-2024

Dates: From Friday December 1st 2023 to Sunday February 4th 2024.

Cost: this is a free event.

Venue: Tokorozawa Sakura Town, 〒359-0023 Saitama, Tokorozawa, Higashitokorozawawada, 3 Chome−31−3. View on Google Maps.


Tokorozawa Sakura Town is a ten minute walk from JR Musashino Line’s Higashi Tokorozawa Station. Keep an eye out for the anime manhole covers on the way! By car, the entertainment town is about 3.6 kilometers from the Kanetsu expressway. Parking costs 200 yen per half hour. The first half hour is free.

The featured photo at the top of the post is from the official website. 

Find even more cool events and news for Saitama check the events category.

20201031. R20221031. Last update December 12th 2023.

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