Image used as the cover photo of Santa Claus Mallage Kuki in 2021

Santa Claus will once again visit Kuki City in 2022

Many years ago, before we happened upon Finland no Mori, we visited Santa Claus in this mall in Kuki City in the eastern area of Saitama Prefecture. “The real Santa from Finland, formerly Lapland” as they advertised him back then. People queued for hours for this rare chance to meet Santa in Saitama. They have since introduced a ticket system, which reduces the amount of queuing time. At the time (around 2014), it was one of the few places you could meet Santa in Saitama, Kanto even. However, from 2015 the number of places you could meet and greet Santa multiplied. BUT in 2021 we were thrown back into the situation that the places to visit Santa Claus were few and far between. This time on account of the pandemic. At least it was better than 2020, when you could count on one hand the number of places you could visit Santa Claus in the Greater Tokyo area.

Santa Claus in Kuki City 2022

However, while things aren’t still quite back to pre pandemic level, there are far more places you can meet and greet Father Christmas in 2022. Even here in Saitama, where last year there was only about three places that had a public Santa Claus. This mall, Mallage Shobu in Kuki, was one of those three places. And once again this year, Santa is coming back for his annual visit.

Christmas tree at Mallage Shobu, Kuki, Saitama Prefecture

Apart from the opportunity to meet Santa, the mall has a gorgeous Christmas tree that is at least three meters tall. In a usual year, Santa sits in front of the tree where you can get your photo taken with him. In previous years, they also had some ponies dressed up as Santa and reindeer.  They also had some sales and special events running in the various shops. In 2022, they will have a Christmas food fair on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

a pony dressed up as Santa Claus 2021

Santa Claus 2022 Information

Flyer / poster for the 2022 Santa Visit at Mallage Shobu in Kuki City
Official flyer for the 2022 Santa event in Mallage Shobu, Kuki City, Saitama Prefecture

This year, 2022, Santa is visiting Mallage Shobu on Christmas day. He will be at the “Taki no Court” area on the 1st floor (European ground floor) at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. They will start distributing the tickets at 10 am at the first floor taki no court entrance on the side of route 122. If there are any tickets left after 10.30 am (highly unlikely, for the record), they will distribute them from the event site. There are only a hundred and fifty tickets, first come, first served. They will be running a Christmas coloring event simultaneously on the day.

This is a free event with no conditions (except that it is limited to the first 150 families in line). But please note that you must have your own camera with you and you must take the photo yourself. That is, there will be no staff there to take the photo for you. One shot per family. Also, due to the pandemic, you must wear a mask, respect the social distancing markers in the queue and disinfect your hands before meeting Santa Claus. Also, there is a chance they will cancel the event last minute due to the pandemic and / or Santa’s well being. Please check the official website ( in the details area below) before departing your house.

For more things to do this Christmas, please check out the “Christmas in Japan 2022″ tag on this blog.


Location: Mallage Shobu (Shopping Mall), 6005-1 Shobucho Shobu, Kuki, Saitama 346-0106

Date: Christmas day, Sunday December 25th 2022.

Times: 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm, but the tickets are distributed from 10 am.

Official event web page.

Other places you can visit Santa in Saitama in 2022


  1. For anyone who wants to see Santa, avoid crowds and doesn’t mind traveling to Ichigaya there is a one on one Santa event by reservation only this Sunday 12/12 afternoon.

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