Shinrin Park Autumn Leaves Night Illumination sign over the central gate Autumn Leaves Shinrin

Shinrin Park Night Illumination – Every year, Shinrin park in Namegawa Town, Saitama, offer night illumination at the central gate area of the park. They are one of the first to start their night illumination annually. They have three different displays:

  1. Halloween illumination – Halloween Night in the Forest,
  2. Autumn Leaf illumination – The Story of the Forest and Lights, and
  3. Christmas Illumination – Starlight

Below is a summary of each. If you’d prefer to look at them individually, just click through to the individual event posts linked.

Shinrin Park Night Illumination

Each of the displays are a little different, but elements are the same in all three. For example:

  • Captain Bubbles pirate castle – it was a pirate ship until 2022, but from 2023 it is now a castle. You can not enter it, but can enjoy the laser light show with fluorescent bubbles.
  • The Maple cafe, almost half way between the Arboretum and the pirate castle, only opens for the illumination events.
  • There is a scavenger hunt for children.

1. Halloween illumination

Halloween Night in the Forest” is the first of Shinrin Park’s three annual night illumination displays. It is held annually on weekends in the lead up to Halloween. Unfortunately, since the pandemic it has only been on a maximum of six nights. Before the pandemic it started from the end of September to the first weekend in November.

Shinrin Park Winter Illumination Welcome sign inside the central gate

We enjoy this event annually. Each year there is a special Halloween display, with ghosts and pumpkins displayed in the trees on the walk to the Botanical Garden centre. Moreover, if you arrive in a really good costume, they will gift you a treat (unfortunately this has been cancelled due to the pandemic). In addition, there is a stamp rally for kids. There are three key areas – the pirates castle by the gate, the forest of maple and the Arboretum.

Chapter 1: The Halloween illumination event post (Updated annually):

2. Autumn Leaf illumination

The Story of the Forest and Lights is the second of the three night illumination displays at Shinrin Park. It generally starts the weekend after the Halloween illumination ends and runs until the end of November. However, as the Halloween illumination has been finishing early since the pandemic, there is now two weeks between the two events. This is the only one of the three illumination events that is on weekdays also. (Although, the Christmas event usually runs for a few weekdays around Christmas day too).

After Halloween, the focus of the Shinrin Park Night Illumination is on “Kouyou” 紅葉, the changing of the Autumn leaves color. The “kaide” garden is an area of maple trees which are lit up to enhance the natural beauty of the trees. There is a gazebo in the garden which is adorned with lights as well as an artificially created “river” of lights that flows from the gazebo.

Chapter 2: The Autumn Leaves Night in the Forest event post, updated annually:

3. Christmas illumination

Starlight is the third and final illumination display at Shinrin Park (aka Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park) annually.

Starlight illumination at Shinrin park christmas
Starlight illumination

The Starlight Christmas display usually starts from December 12th and ends the end of the year. However, just like the Halloween display, it has been on for shorter than usual since the pandemic began. In my experience, this one is the least busy of the three light up events in Shinrin park. The Halloween and Autumn Night illumination displays are very similar, but the Starlight illumination display in the Maple Forest is, in my humble opinion, the most striking.

Chapter 3: event post for the Starlight illumination at Shinrin Park (Updated Annually):

General Information for Shinrin Park

Shinrin Park is a national government park also known as Musashi Kyuryo National Goverment Park. You can find up-to-date information in English about their hours and charges on their english webpage: https://www.shinrinkoen.jp/english/

Be sure to check out this detailed post on this blog about all that is available at Shinrin Park: