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

Santa Claus will once again visit Kuki City in 2023

Many years ago, before we happened upon Finland no Mori, we visited Santa Claus in this mall in Kuki City, 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, due to the pandemic, we were thrown back to 2014 with few Santa to be found. Although, a lot of places, including this location in Kuki, have Santa back since 2022, there are still a lot of places that he hasn’t been able to visit since 2019.

Santa Claus in Kuki City 2023

Mallage Shobu Mall in Kuki City was one of just three places you could meet Santa Claus in Saitama Prefecture in 2021. As it was one of the few places you could meet Santa Claus prior to 2015 too. And in 2023, Santa Claus still prioritizes the mall on his annual visit to Japan! In 2023, Santa Claus will visit Mallage Shobu mall on Christmas Eve, Sunday December 24th.

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 2023, they will have a Christmas food fair on December 23rd and 24th, Christmas Eve.

a pony dressed up as Santa Claus 2021

Santa Claus 2023 Information

This year, Santa is visiting Mallage Shobu on Christmas eve, December 24th. 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, like with any event, there is a always a chance of last minute changes. Please check the official website ( in the details area below) before departing your house.

>>Find even more things to to this Christmas here.


Event: Christmas Santa Claus Photo Op at Mallage Shobu クリスマス サンタクロース撮影会

Date: Christmas eve, Sunday December 24th 2023.

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

Cost: this is a free event

Venue: Mallage Shobu (Shopping Mall) モラージュ菖蒲, 6005-1 Shobucho Shobu, Kuki, Saitama 346-0106. Map below.

Official event web page.

Other places you can visit Santa in Saitama in 2023

Places that were confirmed at the time of updating this post on November 30th 2023:



  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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