Santa Tochigi Meet and Greets / Santa Photo / Santa Spots 2018 – I have saved the best for last! This is the 7th and final round up by prefecture of places you can get a Santa photo or meet / greet Santa in the Kanto Plain.
Saitama | Tokyo | Kanagawa | Chiba | Ibaraki | Gunma
Tochigi, specifically Nasu, is my personal favourite place to visit Santa. But more than that, it has a lot to offer those seeking a more traditional Christmas experience. There is a lovely Christmas atmosphere in the area with lots of Christmas and Santa decorations. And they have a selection of North Pole aka Lapland aka Finland Santa Meet and Greet locations. Moreover there is usually a light covering of snow in the Northern areas of Tochigi in time for the big Santa visit.
🎅Premium Outlets Sano
Santa will visit the Premium Outlets in Sano on December 15th:
You can see Santa in the Nakagawa aquarium in Otawara City, like quite literally IN the aquarium, every day of December until Christmas eve. The main time is from 11 am to noon, but on weekends they have an additional session at 1 pm.
Official event page: Santa in Nakagawa Aquarium
🎅Sun Valley Hotel Nasu
On December 22nd from 4 pm Sun Valley hotel in Nasu are offering children the chance for a Q&A with the man in red for about 20 minutes. From about 4.20 pm there is a Santa photo (bring your own camera, first come first served) and Santa will give young children the gift of a sweet.
🎅Babies R Us Utsunomiya
Santa Claus visits the Babies R Us in Utsunomiya on December 23rd. He will be available for a greeting and a photo at five different times: 11.30 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm and 5 pm. You need to have your own camera with you.
Official website: Toysrus Babiesrus Utsunomiya
Toysrus Japan: Santa Event Schedule
🎅Finland No Mori
The Santa Claus in Finland No Mori in Tochigi could win the award for the best Santa in the Kanto area! The great thing about this Santa is that he is available on weekdays. And he is on site daily from tomorrow (Friday December 14th) until Christmas eve. He has featured on the TV quite a lot so you may have to wait quite a while to see him. Saturday December 15th is the one and only day this Santa is free (between 3 and 4 pm), so it is bound to be exceptionally busy on that day. All other times you need to spend over a 1000 yen on the premises to get a ticket to see Santa.
Apart from the real Santa there are a number of Santa features in this small theme park of sorts. There are several Santa statues and dozens of tonttu (aka Nisse or Tomtenisse; a mythical character much like Santa). There is a Santa mailbox on the grounds too. The small retail park also has a Moomin shop, a foreign produce shop as well as a hammock cafe and a Finnish type cafe.
The Schedule for this year:
- December 14th (12/14) from 12.50 to 1.50 pm
- 12/15 from 12.30 to 1.30 pm AND free Santa from 3 to 4 pm
- 12/16 from 12.30 to 2 pm and again at 3 pm to 4 pm
- 12/17 from 12.30 to 2pm
- 12/18 from 12.30 to 2 pm
- 12/19 from 12 noon to 1 pm
- 12/20 from noon to 1 pm and again at 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm
- 12/21 from 1 to 2 pm
- 12/22 from 12.30 to 2 pm
- 12/23 from 12.10 to 1.10 pm and again at 2 to 3 pm
- 12/24 from 12.10 to 1.10 pm and again at 2 to 3 pm
You can read more about our 2016 experience here (we go every year, but that is the most recent report I wrote about our visit):
Other Santa and Christmas events on this blog:
- Railway Carriage Restaurant Mustard Seed
- Photo Friday January 2020 Week 3
- Geocaching Saitama: at Sakitama Tomb Park
- Photo Friday and 1000 Hours Outside
- What to expect at a Dezome Shiki
- Saiboku No Mori – New in Hidaka
- Photo Friday January 2020 Week 1
- New Year Races
- Dezome Shiki locations Saitama – 1st fire brigade celebration of the year
- 2019 in review: best Saitama flowers