illumination saitama

Ten places for night illumination in Saitama Prefecture in the winter of 2021 / 2022. Despite the fact the vast majority of night illumination events went ahead during the pandemic in 2020 – 2021, this winter (2021 / 22) several places have opted out of winter illumination. Thankfully, although some of the larger and most famous displays are not on this year, there are at least ten places you can see night illumination this winter in Saitama:

Saitama Illumination 2021 – 2022

  1. Tobu Zoo
  2. Shinrin Park
  3. Cocoon City
  4. Saitama Shintoshin
  5. Tokorozawa Sakura Town
  6. Kawaguchi
  7. Seien Park
  8. Marigold Hill
  9. Gyoda Hasu no Sato
  10. Metsa / Moominvalley

You will find them all mapped together on a Google Mymap at the bottom of the post.

1. Tobu Zoo

With Seibuen’s illumination out of commission, Tobu Zoo’s becomes the largest in Saitama Prefecture. It is also one of the better known and most frequented illumination displays in Saitama Prefecture. They use 3 million lights, smoke and music to create a dreamy illumination display. Furthermore, they have a tunnel of love and animals made out of lights. Moreover, the Tobu zoo illumination is renowned for its LED show, which is the largest of its kind in the Kanto plain.

Date:
Saturday November 20th to Sunday February 13th. Please note that in both November and from January 11th the display is only on the weekends. Hours: from 5 pm to 8 pm. On Christmas eve and Christmas day it will be on until 9 pm.

Cost:
An “illumination pass” that gives you unlimited access to the rides in the amusement park and access to the illumination show is 3200 yen for adults, 3100 yen for seniors, 3000 yen for teenagers and 2000 yen for children. For just illumination (no rides) an adult ticket is 1200 yen, 1100 yen for seniors, 1000 yen for teenagers and 500 yen for children.  Tickets can be bought from 3 pm in the afternoon. Parking costs 1,000 yen, flat rate regardless of length of stay.

Access
The zoo is about a ten minute walk from Tobu Skytree skyliner Tobu Zoo Station. By car: Approximately 15 kilometers from the Kuki Interchange on the Tohoku highway. Parking for 3000 cars, costs 1000 yen for the day. On Google maps.

Official website

Even more information in English:


2. Shinrin Park

Also known as Musashi Kyuryo National Government park, Shinrin park is a 304 hectare park in the Hiki District of Saitama. It is one of the best illumination spots in Saitama, but please note it ends in December and doesn’t run into 2022. There are actually three different displays. The first, which is over for this year, is the excellent Halloween illumination. The second, which is currently on is the Autumn leaves light up. Finally, the third display, which is outlined in this post, is on in December. It is called the Starlight illumination. It is essentially their Christmas illumination. Shinrin uses about 550,000 lights in their displays. Shinrin park’s illumination is particularly suited to children and one of the best illumination spots for families.

Date:
Saturday December 4th to Sunday December 26th on weekends only. But it will also be turned on Christmas Eve, Friday December 24th. Hours: 4 pm to 8 pm (last entry to the park at 7.30 pm).

Cost:
It costs 450 yen for an adult to enter the park. There is no charge for children.

Access:
The illumination is at the central gate only. As such, this is the only car park open at night too. It costs 650 yen during the day, but if you are just coming at night it is 300 yen. If you are coming by public transport, there is a shuttle bus from Shinrin Koen station on the Tobu Tojo line on the night of the illumination only. It costs 200 yen per person. On Google Maps.

Official website

saitama illumination 2022
One of several displays at the Starlight illumination event in December 2019

3. Cocoon City

Cocoon City is a shopping district in the Omiya Ward of Saitama City. Due to its proximity to Saitama Shintoshin station, the mall attracts visitors from all over Saitama as well as Tokyo and Chiba too. The Cocoon city illumination is another of the big and more popular illumination events in Saitama. Coming up to Christmas their illumination involves Christmas trees including a ten meter tree that changes color. Approximately 370,000 lights are used in the Cocoon City illumination. Their illumination is often described as romantic.

Date:
From Saturday November 13th to Monday February 14th (the Christmas trees to December 25th only). Hours: 5 pm to 11 pm.

Cost:
Free

Access:
About a one minute walk from JR Saitama shintoshin Station, about an 8 minute walk from JR Kitayono Station. Parking: Cocoon City is open from 10 am to 9 pm, but the parking is open from 9.00 am to 1.00 am. It costs 200 yen for 30 minutes, but with a Cocoon card or if you spend more than a 1000 yen in one shop, you get one hour free parking. If you use the cinema you get 3 hours free parking. On Google maps.

Official website

Even more information in English:


4. Saitama Shintoshin

Another of Saitama’s long running illumination displays, Saitama Shintoshin’s illumination is displayed at the Keyaki Hiroba annually. They name the display each year, this year it is called Shining Flyway, the Blue Forest. Approximately 200,000 lights are used in the display. The display is right by the station. Children seem to enjoy this display, including my own! Possibly because there is a courtyard where they can run around. Also, some of the light fixtures are at their height. Moreover, the whole area is very Christmassy if you are visiting in December.

Date:
From Saturday November 13th 2021 to Monday February 14th 2022. Hours: 5 pm to midnight.

Cost:
Free

Access:
A two minute walk from JR Saitama shintoshin Station and about a ten minute walk from JR Kitayono Station. There is limited parking so they recommend you come by public transport where possible. Parking is charged by the half hour. It costs 200 yen per half hour. On Google Maps.

Official website

Even more information in English


5. Tokorozawa Sakura Town

A relatively new addition to Saitama’s winter illumination displays, Tokorozawa Sakura Town’s winter illumination is already proving to be very popular. This year their second ever illumination’s theme is “Hajimari no Hikari”. It is centered around a twelve meter Japanese pine tree that is also lit up with twinkling fairy lights. Furthermore, you can also couple with a trip to Teamlab’s outdoor permanent illumination exhibition, which is also in this entertainment town.

Date:
Hajimari no Hikari illumination at Tokorozawa Sakura Town is on from Saturday November 6th until a date in February yet to be decided. Hours: 4 pm to 10 pm.

Cost:
The Hajimari no Hikari illumination is free, but Teamlab’s is charged. Cost is provided in the post linked above.

Access:
Tokorozawa Sakura Town is a ten minute walk from JR Musashino Line’s Higashi Tokorozawa Station. 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. On Google Maps.

Official website

Even more information in English:


6. Kawaguchi’s Fantasy Lights

Once a much smaller event, around three years ago they increased the scale of this annual illumination event in Kawaguchi. Since then it makes it on to the various illumination round ups each year. The Kawaguchi Fantasy Lights are three displays around the three principal stations in downtown Kawaguchi. The stations are Nishi Kawaguchi, Higashi Kawaguchi and JR Kawaguchi Station. Each of the displays are near the entrances to the stations and easy to find. They have a short “switch on” event on the first night from 6 pm.

Date:
Friday December 3rd to Monday February 14th. On the first night the lights are turned on at 6.10 pm after the switch on event. After that the illumination is on daily from 5 pm to 11 pm.

Cost:
Free

Access:
Please note there is no official parking and they ask you to come by train. Access from JR Kawaguchi and Nishi Kawaguchi stations on the Keihin Tohoku line and Higashi Kawaguchi Station on the Musashino and Saitama Rapid Railway lines. On Google Maps.

Official flyer from Kawaguchi City Website

Even more information in English


7. Seien Park

This one has a great reputation, but it is one I haven’t actually seen in person myself yet. Well not really. I saw a glimpse of it once while driving by! It is a large display so it caught my attention. With more than 90,000 lights used, it is one of the largest displays in Northern Saitama. Plus some of the displays are vertical, one of them mocks a waterfall, so it is easy to see them from a distance. Moreover, it is one of the earliest of the season, starting on November 3rd annually.

Date:
Annually from November 3rd to mid January. In 2022, it will end on Saturday January 15th. Hours: from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Cost:
Free and free parking, but the parking lot is very small. There are just 15 car parking spaces.

Access:
The park is about 15 kilometers from the Hanazono Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway. The nearest station is Fukaya station on the Takasaki line. However, given its at night and quite a distance, a taxi is recommended. It takes about 15 minutes in a taxi from the station. On Google Maps.

Official website

Even more information in English


8. Marigold Hill

Relatively close to #7 Seien Park (about a 15 minute drive), is the illumination on Marigold Hill. Another display that can also be seen from a distance, thanks to the gradient of the hill. If you are a regular user of the blog, you will probably recognize the name from the recent post about the Halloween event and the beautiful marigold that grow on the hill in Autumn. The illumination at Marigold hill uses about 60,000 lights and is often Christmas themed with reindeer and snow flakes.

Date:
From Saturday November 20th to Sunday January 16th 2022. Hours: daily from 5 to 10 pm. 

Cost:
Free

Access:
The park is about 2.5 kilometers from the Honjo-Kodama Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway. There is free parking for 36 cars. The car park is at the top of the hill. By public transport: JR Takasaki Line’s Honjo station is about a 30 minute walk away (three kilometers). The Joetsu Shinkansen Honjo Waseda station is right by the park. On Google maps.

Official website

Even more information in English:


9. Gyoda Hasu no Sato

Known best for its rice paddy art, Gyoda Hasu no Sato is a local gem in Gyoda. Their night illumination event is quite old, one of the longest running in the prefecture. You can enjoy the illumination for free within the park. But the park also has an observation tower from which you can view the illumination from above. To enter the tower building costs 400 yen per person. This year they are offering people the chance to get personalized messages projected into the illumination within the observation tower. You can find more detailed information about the element on the event post here. If you are in the area on December 4th, you can also see floating flowers lit up in three locations in Gyoda.

Date:
From Saturday November 27th until Tuesday January 4th. Hours: from dusk until 9 pm.

Cost:
Free to ramble about the park, but if you want to see the illumination from the observation tower it costs 400 yen per person.

Access:
Approximately 25 minutes from the Hanyu exit of the Tohoku expressway. A city circulating bus service is available from Gyoda shi Station (14 minutes to Kodai-hasu no Sato) during the day. On Google maps.

Official website

More information in English:


10. Metsa / Moominvalley Park

Metsa is the general name for both Metsa Village and Moominvalley park combined. The latter is charged, but the former is free to amble about. Both the free and charged areas have winter illumination this year. The free part, Metsa Village, has illumination reminiscent of European Christmas decorations. Furthermore, the illumination is on the entrance road, where the popular umbrella sky event is hosted annually. In addition, Moominvalley park will have illumination as part of their ‘winter festival‘. However, Moominvalley park will temporarily close for a facelift from November 29th to December 9th. The illumination will start when it reopens on December 10th.

Date:
The Metsa Village illumination started on November 18th and will run until early March. The end date has not yet been decided. Meanwhile, the Moominvalley park winter festival will start on December 10th and runs until February 28th.

Cost:
The Entrance road illumination is free. However, you have to pay in to see the Moominvalley park illumination. It costs 2500 yen for adults and 1500 yen for children. If you buy a ticket in advance you get a 200 yen discount per ticket.

Access:
Metsa is about a ten minute drive from Sayama Hidaka Interchange of the Ken-o expressway. There is an upper cap of 1500 yen for one day of parking. By train you can access the Village from either Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Hanno Station or from JR Hachiko Line’s Higashi Hanno station. On Google Maps.

Official website


Night Illumination Saitama

This is not an exhaustive list. There are other illumination events in Saitama this year, but some of the most popular, including thee most famous – Seibuen – do not have an illumination event this year. You will find even more in the events category of this blog. If you would like to see more of these type of posts, please show this one some love by sharing it around! Thank you.

1 Comment

  1. I needed this, thanks!
    Don’t forget to come and post it in the sub.

Comments are always appreciated...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.