Updated November 2016.
Thankfully, in the last few years, I have found places my kids can enjoy “Santa Greeting”, サンタグリーテイングas it is called in Japan. And as the more regular readers of my blog know, I like to share the information I find. 🙂
First up, Ikspiari in Chiba, which is the free area beside the Disney resort. It has featured on my blog a few times, most recently for its amazing halloween displays and celebrations. Ikspiari is quite well known in the Greater Tokyo area for its “Christmas Town” which will open much earlier this year (2016) from November 8th. Christmas Town includes winter illumination and many special events, such as a Christmas stamp rally and craft workshops, and most importantly: a meet and greet with Santa.
The “White Santa Greeting” will run during this period on weekends and public holidays leading up to Christmas. Unlike some other places, there is a condition unfortunately, that you have to spend over 3,000 yen in Ikspiari to qualify to meet with Santa Claus. You get to take a commemorative photo with Santa in return. Until 2014 they didn’t charge, but last year I checked with the organisers and from 2015 they introduced this system. I also checked that in the case of my family, you don’t need to have receipts for each child, just one set of receipts for over 3,000 gives access to the whole family (so long as they haven’t reached their maximum numbers for the day).
The reception opens at 11.30 and there are 4 meet & greet sessions at 12.00, 13.30, 15.30, and 17.00. They limit the number to 30 units each session, and request that you arrive 30 minutes before your alloted time.
This year they have introduced another Santa meet and greet event. For purchases of over 5000 yen between November 8th and 30th, you are put in a draw for either a 2000 yen voucher for Ikspiari or a dinner with Santa that will take place between December 20th and 22nd. You need to ask directly at the 2nd floor information desk for more information and how to apply.
Official URL: http://www.ikspiari.com/ent/event/christmas2016/
The English site: http://www.ikspiari.com/en/
From JR Keiyo Line Maihama station.
Some more photos from their 2015 website hereafter.