Sapporo: White Illumination 2019

The lights are on!

In Odori Park, anyway.


From November to December, Sapporo City is illuminated up by fantastic light displays all across the city center. It starts from Sapporo Station and ends a few blocks away from  Odori Park. I highly recommend going to visit this White Illumination Event as it is quite spectacular.


If you go later on in the season when the snow is falling or is on the ground, the night air is so romantic. Right now, though, there’s not much snow since we’re still late in the fall. However, the fallen leaves also have a different kind of atmosphere of their own.

This year is the 39th year of the event, so it’s been going on quite some time. I’ve only been a few times because most of the time the displays are the same. Still, though, every time I go, something is different.


Again, start at Sapporo Station and take photos of the area. The theme is all about Christmas, of course, so you’ll see lots of Christmas trees lit up.


From there, walk down Ekimae Avenue towards the park. Basically, just follow the big road that opens up in front of you if you take the South Exit (from where Daimaru Department Store is). The middle of the street is lined by trees wrapped with in lights and this should open up towards downtown Odori.


Then follow the twinkling lights.

And then on your right, Akarenga Terrace will also be lit up in brilliant purple, pink, and blue lights. Snap a photo of the trees that line the beautiful courtyard leading up to the Old Government Building. You might have to wait a while to get that perfect shot because there will be lots and lots of people who want to do the same thing. Still, it’s worth a stop.


Once you’re done, head straight to the park. You’ll see the TV Tower on your left side with the huge flower light display.


On your right side, you’ll see some kind of structure that you can walk through.


Actually go inside and feel how different it is when you’re viewing it from the outside. I like that most of these structures are inter-active. I like that you can go through and weave and out of these things.


The lights will be on all your sides and also up and below you.


Walk further down Odori Park past the area where they are selling food. If you want to eat and grab a few treats, this is the place to be. (No photos of the food stall, sorry.) However, my goal was towards a structure that has some green lights and you’ll come to a little area where there is a leafy maze.


You can walk through the maze that will take you to the middle where there is a Christmas tree. I heard many kids and young couples having fun getting lost through it.


Since it’s a very popular event, it will be crowded. If you want to avoid the crowds and take photos without many people in them, try to go later on at night before they turn off the lights. Also, try to go during the weekdays, when there are less visitors around.

This is one of the things I also look forward to in the winter. It’s a great way to be outdoors and still enjoy the cold weather.


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