Every year Tobu Zoo and amusement park puts on a fantastic night illumination show for the winter months. It is one of the better known, and larger, night illumination displays. In both 2020 and 2021, it was actually one of only a handful of places that had their winter illumination. However, as in 2020, the illumination didn’t start until late November. This year it is back to an October start this year, for the first time in three years. In addition, this year it is a collaboration with “Irregular Dice” or Ireisu for short, a 6 member band that rose to fame on Youtube.
Update February 9th 2023: the display end date has been pushed back (from February 12th) to February 26th.
Please note for the months of October and November the illumination is only on at the weekends. Likewise, from January 10th until the display ends on February
12th 26th, you can only see it on the weekends and public holiday. The display is on daily from December 3rd to January 9th, 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). This year the display will be set to a brand new song by Ireisu. It promises to be a mind blowing display!
They use over 3,000,000 lights to create an illuminated flower garden in Heartful Garden. The area covers 8,000 meter squared. They also use 59 LED Lanterns of animals. Last year, there were 50. The new nine ones include leopards, ostriches and flamingos. A delight for children and people of all ages. In addition, they light up the amusement rides. They also have a relatively new area (started 2018) representing the flowers of the four seasons. Overall the park has a very romantic feel and it makes a great place for a winter date!
Tobu zoo have a smaller illumination event for Halloween. Information for that here.
Event: Tobu Hybrid Park Winter Illumination
Season: From Saturday October 29th to Sunday February
12th extended to – February 26th 2023. See next section on the specifics on dates.
October ~ November: From October 29th until December 3rd the illumination is on weekends only and thus the park only opens late on weekends: from 5 pm to 8 pm.
December ~ early January: daily from December 3rd to 31st to January 9th until 8 pm, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas day when the illumination stays on until 9 pm. Please note the zoo is closed on New Years Day, January 1st, annually.
Mid January ~ February: from January 10th to February
12th 26th the illumination is on weekends only from 5 pm to 8 pm.
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
Address: 110 Suka, Miyashiro, Minamisaitama District, Saitama 345-0831. View on Google Maps.
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
The featured image was taken from the zoo’s site around 2016.
these illumination events are very popular in Asia. A nice reason to get out and about of an evening no doubt!
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 🙁