For the first time in four years the real Santa Claus will be visiting Maruhiro in Kawagoe. He will also visit the branches in Ageo and Higashimatsuyama and brief information for those two locations is also included in this post. However, you need to reserve a place and pay in advance. In other words, you can’t just rock up on the day. But as of December 9th 2023, there are still plenty of places available…
Santa Claus Kawagoe Maruhiro
Before the pandemic Santa Claus visited the Maruhiro in Kawagoe annually. And occasionally he also visited some of the other branches of Maruhiro too. In 2023, he is coming back to Kawagoe Maruhiro for the first time since the pandemic. It is the Santa Claus from Lapland (Finland). But a few things have changed since his last visit in 2019. For example, you have to book in advance to meet with him. Moreover, you have to have the Maruhiro App in order to make a booking. The booking form is open now, first come, first served. You need to access it from the Maruhiro App. It costs 500 yen, for one group of up to 5 people, to meet him which you need to pay by credit card when booking your slot.
The 500 yen is just for the privilege of meeting Santa Claus! Although, in previous years when there was also a charge (it switches between a free and charged event) Santy usually gave children some sweets. Please note; you need to have your own camera with you. Santy will meet 50 families of up to five people at 11 am and 2 pm from Friday December 15th to the 17th 2023. The public event post doesn’t specify where Santa Claus is on those days, but usually the Santa visit space is on the 6th floor “Enjoy Space 10”.
Higashimatsuyama & Ageo Branches
Santa Claus will also visit the Higashimatsuyama and Ageo branches of Maruhiro on Saturday December 16th. Like with the Kawagoe branch, you need to book and pay in advance through the Maruhiro App. He will be there at 11 am and 2 pm for about an hour each time and will meet 100 families – 50 at each time slot. Booking is already open on the App.
Event: Lapland Santa Claus at Maruhiro Kawagoe フィンランドからサンタクロースがやってくる♪
Dates: from Friday December 15th to Sunday December 17th 2023
Time: from 11 am and again from 2 pm
Cost: 500 yen for one family (/group)
Venue: Maruhiro Kawagoe, 〒350-8511 Saitama, Kawagoe, Shintomicho, 2 Chome−６−1. View on Google Maps.
Maruhiro Kawagoe is located on Crea Mall – the shopping arcade that leads from the Atre at Kawagoe Station (Tobu Tojo / east side) up to the tourist area. It is within walking distance of Hon-Kawagoe and Kawagoe stations. There is a parking lot at the back of the department store as well as across the road, behind the Afternoon Tea Shop. In addition, there is another parking lot near Hon-Kawagoe Station. Parking costs 300 yen for two hours and 150 yen for every 30 minutes thereafter. If you spend more than 1000 yen in Maruhiro you can get two hours of free parking.
Editor’s note: the featured photo is from the 2017 event. This post was temporarily removed from the website during the pandemic, because the event wasn’t on. It was republished on December 9th 2023.