Tobu Zoo Illumination – Every year Tobu Zoo puts on a fantastic night illumination show for the winter months. It is one of the better known night illumination displays. Moreover, in 2021, it is one of only a handful of places that are going ahead with their winter illumination. Unfortunately, even though many of the larger displays went ahead in 2020, they have decided not to go ahead in 2021. Tobu Zoo have confirmed they will have their winter night illumination in 2021. However, as in 2020 too, the illumination will be turned on later than normal, on November 20th*. (Its normally the last week in October).

*Update November 5th – they’ve pushed the start date back to November 20th.

Please note for the month of November – with the exception of Saitama Citizen’s Day – the illumination is only on at the weekends. From November 20th. Likewise, from January 11th until the display ends on February 13th, you can only see it on the weekends and public holiday. The display is on daily from December 4th to January 10th, with the exception of January 1st as the zoo will close for New Year’s Day. The illumination stays on until 8 pm except. On Christmas Eve and Christmas night it is extended an hour, to 9 pm.

Tobu Zoo illumination

The park uses smoke, light and music to add to the ambiance of the night illumination. The illumination involves a LED vision performance laser and projection mapping show, that is the largest of its kind in the Kanto area. (Kanto is the area comprising Tokyo and the surrounding six prefectures of Saitama, Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Kanagawa and Chiba). It promises to be a mind blowing display. 

2016 illumination from the official website

They use over 3,000,000 lights to create an illuminated flower garden in Heartful Garden. The area covers 8,000 meter squared. They still haven’t released the precise information for 2020 / 2021. But in previous years kids could enjoy animals made out of flowers and/or light, snowmen and winter scenes. Couples could walk in a tunnel of love, “Love Lock”, built especially for the occasion, and take in the romantic atmosphere of the park lit up at night. They also have a relatively new area (started 2018) representing the flowers of the four seasons.

Tobu zoo have a smaller illumination event for Halloween. Information for that here.

Tobu Zoo Illumination Hours and Cost

Illumination dates:

November – from November 20th. weekends from 5 pm to 8 pm

December – daily from December 4th to 31st until 8 pm, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas day when the illumination stays on until 9 pm

January – daily from January 2nd to January 10th (the zoo closes on New Year’s Day). From January 11th until February 13th the illumination is on weekends only.


An “illumination pass” that gives you unlimited access to the rides in the amusement park and access to the illumination show is 3200 yen for adults, 3100 yen for seniors, 3000 yen for teenagers and 2000 yen for children. For just illumination (no rides) an adult ticket is 1200 yen, 1100 yen for seniors, 1000 yen for teenagers and 500 yen for children.  Tickets can be bought from 3 pm in the afternoon. Parking costs 1,000 yen, flat rate regardless of length of stay.

Tobu Zoo Illumination Access

Public Transport:
The zoo is about a ten minute walk from Tobu Skytree skyliner Tobu Zoo Station.

Approximately 15 kilometers from the Kuki Interchange on the Tohoku highway. Parking for 3000 cars, costs 1000 yen for the day.

Phone for SatNav / GPS

They normally open a dedicated website for the illumination. They have said they will this year too, but it is not yet ready. You can currently see the event information on the zoo’s official website. The featured image was taken from the zoo’s site around 2016.

Other Illumination events already confirmed for Saitama in 2021 / 2022:

Shinrin Park Night illumination | NAMEGAWA

Updated annually. Last full republish: October 12th 2021.


    1. Author

      Because they are outdoors and rarely attract thousands of people at the same time, I think they are the ideal event during these pandemic times, but surprisingly, dozens of places decided not to go ahead with their illumination this year 🙁

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