saitama illumination 2022 starlight illumination display at Shinrin Park in Namegawa

Starlight Illumination Shinrin park aka Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park.

The Starlight illumination is the last of the three annual night illumination displays held in the central gate area of the vast park. This year, 2022, it will run from Friday December 9th on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday nights only. It used to run until January, but for the last few years it has been finishing at the end of December. This year, 2022, the last date is Sunday December 25th, Christmas day.

Starlight illumination in Shinrin Park, held annually in December
Starlight Illumination, December 2019

Like all the night illumination at Shinrin park, the area of the event is around the central gate only. From the main gate, up to the Kaede garden and the arboretum beyond. Its about a kilometer stretch, one way. They use just over half a million lights for their night illumination. Along the way there are various displays. Right at the start you can see the pirate ship and various trees lit up with stunning lights. In addition, the arboretum has a large display of hanging lights. Some of the restaurants open late for the occasion, such as the Maple Cafe which is just after the halfway mark. The cafe at the arboretum is also open.

For the kids

In 2019, Shinrin Park introduced several new features to all three of their illumination displays, specifically for kids. By the entrance the aforementioned pirate ship has an automated show every hour. The show is set to light projection and music and bubbles are blown from “Captain Bubbles Pirate ship”. By the arboretum there is a talking tree that wakes a few times a night to tell a story. They have characters hidden in the woods where the illumination is on for a sort of scavenger hunt for the kids.

starlight illumination
From the official site

For children they have a “graffiti wall” that they can scribble on with penlights. As far as I know the graffiti wall is only available during the December night illumination at Shinrin Park. It is up by the arboretum which is the last stop on the starlight illumination trail. Another popular feature of the night illumination for kids is the illuminated candy floss.

Dates of the illumination

  • December 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th and 25th

The central gate of park will opens late for the occasion. During the Starlight Illumination the central gate is open from 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm with last entry at 7.30 pm. However, if it is raining the Illumination is not on and the park doesn’t open at night. They will announce by 2 pm on their website whether the park will be closed that night or not.

Cost

The event is free, but you have to pay into the park. It costs 450 yen for adults, 210 yen for seniors (over 65 years old) and free for children. Parking costs 300 yen at night and 620 yen during the day.

“Starlight” illumination Shinrin Park Access

During the period of the illumination they will run a shuttle bus from the Shinrin Koen station on the Tobu Tojo line. In 2021, the bus for the Starlight illumination only was free (it was charged for the Halloween and Autumn illumination). However, in 2022 the shuttle bus will also be charged for the Starlight illumination. It costs 250 yen per adult. The shuttle bus is only available the nights that the illumination is on. Bus schedule:

The left hand side is the times from Shinrin koen station, the right hand side is the times for Shinrin Park (central gate).

You can park at the central gate only at night. It gets quite crowded at weekends so it is advised to arrive early. In previous years it was free to park, but they now charge 300 yen for parking at night.

Official website

More general information on Night Illumination at Shinrin Park:

Shinrin Park Night illumination | NAMEGAWA

More information on Shinrin Park:

Best of Saitama: Shinrin Park 2022 | NAMEGAWA

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