For years, the illumination display in Seibuen, an amusement park on the cusp of Tokyo, was Saitama’s largest illumination display. Furthermore, it was one of the largest in all of Kanto, aka the Greater Tokyo area. It has been gravely missed since its cessation in 2020 due to renovations in the park. Last year, we eagerly awaited news of its return, but it wasn’t to be. This year, it wasn’t looking hopeful when there was still no news by mid October. But then on October 26th a press release confirmed that Seibuen will have illumination this winter. Moreover, it promises to be their best yet and I paraphrase; ‘unforgettable illumination…like you’ve never seen before’.
For years, until 2019 the illumination in Seibuen was called “White lantasia”. In the winter of 2019 to 2020, they mixed it up with a revitalized display called “Shining Forest”. Then in winter of 2020 to 2021 the park was closed for renovations. There was no illumination in 2021/22 winter, presumably due to the pandemic. This is the first time since the reopening of the park in Spring 2021, that they will have winter illumination. In fitting with the change of image of the park since the renovations, the illumination has also undergone a transformation. And a name change! The new name of the Seibuen winter illumination is “Memories of Light”.
Memories of Light
Seibuen are aiming to bring us illumination ‘like nothing we’ve ever seen before’! A very ambitious undertaking. What we know is that it is an interactive illumination display that involves the active participation of the viewer. We won’t know until we see it, but to be honest, to me it sounds quite like the winter illumination in Moominvalley. At least the same concept, but a very different design. Seibuen will use projection mapping, which is very common these days, to create three dimensional / fluid space of light and color. Currently, we do not know how many lights they are using in this year’s display. In the past they used about 3.5 million!
Night rides / Other events ???
Before the renovation of the amusement park, they always lit up the rides at night during the period of the night illumination. But the park is quite different now. Also, there were always several other concurrent events during the period of the night illumination. For example, they had a special event on the opening night, lantern events in early winter and fireworks in late winter. There is currently no information available for concurrent events.
Event: Memories of Light メモリー・オブ・ライト
Date: Friday November 18th 2022 to Sunday April 9th 2023 on nights that the park is open. Please note, that at this moment in time, they don’t plan to have it on nightly from January 10th. You will have to consult the schedule, when it is released, on the official website.
Times: the base hours are from 5 pm to 8 pm until January 13th. But over New Year, from December 29th to January 3rd, they will turn them on at 4 pm. From January 14th they switch the lights on at 5.30 pm. Finally, from March 3rd until the closing date the illumination hours are from 6 to 9 pm.
Cost: The illumination itself is free, but you have to pay to enter the amusement park. It costs 4400 yen for an adult, 3300 yen for children. PSA: they are currently selling discount tickets on the official site, for dates between now and January 31st.
Venue: Seibuen Amusement Park, 2964 Yamaguchi, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1145. View on Google maps.
Train: Seibuen is Minutes walk from Seibu Yuuenchi station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line. Car: Approximately 10 kilometers / 20 minutes drive, from the Iruma Interchange of the Ken-o highway. Parking costs 1800 yen on a weekday, 2000 yen on the weekend, public holidays and special occasions.
As of October 30th 2022, they only have a “teaser” as they call it on the official website, with just the dates – not even the times or cost. But they will update it in due course.
looks amazing lynda!