Hokkaido has a lot of sightseeing spots and also many events that unique to the snowy winter season. Today, we will introduce 7 best exciting and impressive events that could be experienced only in winter season of Hokkaido. Some make you feel culture and history of Hokkaido, and some make you enjoy with your family, make you have very good foods.

Modern Art Event

1.Sapporo Art Stage – Nov. 1st ~ Dec. 3rd 2017


Source: flickr

Sapporo city is the prefectural capital of Hokkaido. It is 5th largest city (1960 thousand of population) in Japan and also popular sightseeing city. Sapporo Art Stage is one of the Autumn Art Festival in Sapporo that has started since 2005. A lot of people (from children to adults) and professional artists enjoy music, many kinds of art, and drama whole around the city. The places are concert hall and theater in Sapporo city, and street in front of the Sapporo station. In 「Sapporo Theater Festival」, more than 30 movie groups put their movies on the screen. The artists who are playing active roles in various parts of Japan show their art products in 「Art Street」. And in the 「Cross Road Drive」, street musicians play on the road.

Schedule

Cross Roads Live

Dec. 3rd (Sun)

Final Live / 13:00~

Access & Address

・Cross Roads Live/Art Street

Kita Sanjo Plaza, Underground walking space in front of Sapporo Station

4-chome, 6-jonishi, Kita, Kita-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

Map

・TGR2017 Sapporo Theater Festival

At each theaters in Sapporo city.

Price & Reservation

Price:It would differ from movie to movie.

Cross Roads Live : Free / No need to reserve.

Official Website

http://www.s-artstage.com/2017/

2. Goryosei Stars – Des. 1st 2017 ~ Feb. 28th 2018


Source: flickr

This illumination festival has started since 1989. Star-shaped historic castle: Goryokaku (the length of the circumference is about 1.8 km) is illuminated by as many as 2,000 of electric lamps and floating in the dark forming star shape. (Goryokaku is Ryoho style of castle built about 150 years ago. It forms star shape to reduce the dead angles to enemy.) This fantastic scenery illuminated with snow and light is the best spot for this winter season. If you want enjoy this illumination more, you should not only look down from tower building standing nearby but also walk along with the wall of this star-shaped castle. In the illumination season (Dec. 1st ~ Feb. 28th), 「Dream of Goryosei Tree」 will be installed at observation place.

We write our prayers on short strips of paper named Tanzaku and put it on 「Dream of Goryosei Tree」 to come true. In addition, the Atrium at first floor will be also beautifully illuminated and create fantastic atmosphere associated with dream of Goryosei.

Schedule

・Date:Illuminated from Dec. 1st (Fri) 2017 ~ Feb. 28th (Wed) 2018

・Time:17:30~20:00  ※It will be from 17:30 after Feb. 10th due to the sunset time.

・Event:Dec. 2nd (Sat)  17:00~19:00 There are fireworks and mini concert.

Access & Address

・Place:Goryokaku Park

・Closest station:

About 15 min walk from 「Goryokaku Koen Teiryujo」 by Hakodate City Trams

About 15 min walk from 「Goryokaku」 bus station by Hakodate Bus.

About 7 min walk from 「Goryokaku Koen Iriguchi」 by Hakodate Bus.

・Address:44, Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido

・Map

Price & Reservation

Entrance Fee

(It would be Special Night Price after 17:00 pm)

Adult: 760 yen

(Regular Price 840 yen), Junior・High School Students: 570 yen (Regular Price 630 yen), Elementally School Students: 380 yen (Regular Price 420 yen)

No need to reserve.

Official Website

http://hakodate.to/hoshinoyume/

3. Shiroi-Koibito Park Illumination – Nov. 1st 2017 ~ Mar. 25th 2018


Source: flickr

Shiroi-Kibito Park is sweet theme park in Sapporo. Shiroi-Koibito (means White Lover in English) is very famous confections made by the company located in Sapporo city. Shiroi-Koibito Park Illumination 2017 will provide you with fantastic world includes some buildings illuminated by as many as 110 thousand of electric lamps. In the courtyard 「Rose Garden」, there installed 10m height of main tree. Santa Claus’s sleigh and Reindeer’s art works are very popular as photo spot. You can even ride on this sleigh. Sapporo Gimmick Clock Tower will be illuminated as well and decorated by 250 of snowman. We can also sightseeing to the assembly lines of 「Shiroi-Koibito」 factory.

Schedule

・Date:Nov. 3rd 2017~Mar. 25th 2018  (Seven days a week during the illumination season)

・Time:16:30~19:30(We are allowed for sightseeing from outside of facility’s gate after 19:00 pm)

Access & Address

・About 7 min walk from 「Miyanozawa Station」 by Subway Tozai Line.

・About 40 min by walk and train from 「Odori Koen Station」on Subway Tozai Line.

Or about 40 min by walk and bus from Sapporo Station.

・Address :Shiroi-Koibito Park, 2-11-36, Nijo, Miyanosawa, Nishi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

・Map

Price & Reservation

Entrance Fee:Free for Rose Garden

: For the tour of Shiroi-Koibito Manufacturing Line, it will cost 600 yen for high school students and older, 200 yen for junior high school students and younger, free for under 3-year-old children.

No need to reserve.

Official Website

http://www.shiroikoibitopark.jp/

4. RUSUTSU Christmas Fireworks Festival & Skiing with Taimatsu – Dec.24th 2017


Source: https://rusutsu.co.jp/s-blog/archives/6753

RUSUTSU means 「the foot of a mountain」 in Ainu language. This resort named after this location, RUSUTSU village, and covers as much as about 820 hectare of area. RUSUTSU resort is illuminated with Christmas color’s decoration and BGM and appear more beautiful in this World of Silver. RUSUTSU Christmas Fireworks Festival & Skiing with Taimatsu is the event that celebrate the Christmas with special fireworks and sparkling Taimatsu. We do not need to be the guest of the resort to attend this festival. We can enjoy the splendid show by sky school’s instructors and skiing with Taimatsu. We can also enjoy as many as 1,200 of fireworks out there.

Schedule

・Date:Dec. 24th (Sun) 2017 Christmas Eve

In the case of bad weather on 24th, it would be rescheduled to 25th.

・Time

19:45~ Limited amount ! Hot drink service.

20:00~Liven up the Opening of the festival. The showcase by sky school!

20:10~Christmas skiing with Taimatsu. Only experienced sky players could attend.

20:30~Celebration of Christmas Eve! 1,200 shots of Christmas Special Fireworks.

Access & Address

・Place:RUSUTSU Resort West Mt. Ever Course

・Closest Station:Kucchan Station on JR Hokkaido・Hakodate Main Line / Toya Station on JR Hokkaido・Muroran Main Line.

It will take about 60 min by taxi or bus from Kucchan Station or Toya Station.

・About 2 hours from JR Sapporo Station by Donan Bus bounce for Toyako Onsen.

・Address:13, Izumikawa, Rusutsu-mura, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

・Map

Price & Reservation

Entrance Free and No Need to Reserve

Only when you attend the Skiing with Taimatsu, you need to reserve for that and pay 550 yen. (You must be experienced Sky player)

Reservation ・ Inquiry

RUSUTSU Resort Sky & Snow Board School

TEL:0136-46-3280

※Reservation is needed to be made by 18:00 on the day.

Official Website

http://www.hokkaido-rusutsu.com/news-events/christmas-new-year-events.htm

Fun Event Enjoyable with Children

5. Munich・Christmas City in Sapporo – Nov. 25th ~ Dec. 24th 2017


Source: ミュンヘン・クリスマス市 in Sapporo

Sapporo city and Munich city are both famous as beer. There are some points in common between both cities, such as same latitude and same number of population, and also used to be a lots of interchange before. That resulted in the Tie-Up of a Sister City Relationship in 1972. Then in 2002, the 「Munich・Christmas City in Sapporo」 has been started in Sapporo to celebrate 30th years of relationship of both city. During the period, there will be a lot of food, hot wine and variety goods stands in the Odori Park. It is such a full-scale festival that there is a shop stand comes from Santa Claus Village. Besides, we could meet Santa Claus in person! This will be held almost same period as White Illumination, so it should be better to visit at night time.

Schedule

・Date:From Nov. 25th (Sat)

・Time:11:00 ~ 21:00

・The date we can see Santa Claus:From 16:00~20:00 on weekday, from 11:00~19:00 on Saturday and Sunday and National Holiday.

Access & Address

・Place:Satellite Place, 2-chome, Odori Park(Sapporo Station Ekimae-Dori, the walking space of underground)

・Closest Station:Subway 「Odori Station」 or 「Nishi-11-Chome Station」

・About 10 min by walk or bus from JR Sapporo Station.

・Address:2-Chome, Odori-Koen, Sapporo-shi

・Map

Price & Reservation

No Entrance Free and No Need to Reserve.

Official Website

http://www.sapporo-christmas.com/

6. Penguin’s Walking – The end of Dec. 2017 ~ Middle of Mar. 2018


Source: 旭山動物園の動物写真集

Penguin’s Walking is the most popular event in winter season of Asahiyama Zoo. Penguin has a habit of moving toward sea in a group to get the food. With this habit, they walk along with 500m of walking course to overcoming the lack of exercise in winter for Penguin. It would take them about 30 ~ 40 min to reach the goal. It would be very enjoyable for tourist as well. This event had begun only with King Penguin, and Gentoo Penguin has joined later. Differ from King Penguin, Gentoo Penguin is full of curiosity and would be out of the course and come close to tourist, go fast for themselves. Though it would be very tough for caretaker, they look very cute and fascinate tourists. Some persons walk along with Penguin until goal. Penguin has a variable temper. Whether they attend the walking or not is depending on their moon on the day. We can enjoy watching Penguin’s Walking freely but we have to keep some roles such us no photo with flash (without flash would be OK), no touching to Penguin, no entering in Walking course.

Schedule

・Date : The end of Dec. 2017 ~ Middle of Mar. 2018

・Time:Twice in a day. Morning and afternoon (11:00 and 14:30) until in middle of March.

Access & Address

・Place:Asahiyama Zoo

・Closest Station:Asahikawa Station.

There are Asahikawa Electronic Bus in every 30 min from Asahikawa Station East Exit, Bus Stop No.6. It will takes about 40 min to get zoo.

・The limited express train runs in every 30 min from JR Sapporo Station to Asahikawa Station.

Time required:About 1 hour and 20 min.

・Address:〒078-8205 Asahikawa Zoo, Kuranuma, Higashi Asahikawa-cho, Asahikawa-shi

・Map

Price & Reservation

Entrance Fee:820 yen for Adult (High School Students and older)

Free for children (Junior High School Students and younger)

Hospitality Ticket(for 1 overnight stay): 820 yen(The entrance time must be in the afternoon on first day, morning on second day.)

No need to reserve.

Official Website

http://www.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp/asahiyamazoo/generalinformation/index.html

Food Event

7. Hiroo Kegani Festival – Dec. 10th 2017


Source: 2017年12月10日 広尾毛がにまつり

Kegani is kind of crab that is quite big size and live around coastal zone in North Pacific Ocean. It has good flavor and sweet taste, and more quantity of crab miso-like paste than other kinds of crabs. In the south area of Tokachi fishing town named Hiroo, there hold 「Kegani Festival」 in every year. In this festival, we can purchase Keganis boiled in 2m-diameters of cauldron. We can eat Kegani at the place or also can take it home and enjoy with your family. In addition to Kegani, we can also purchase this area’s unique seafood such as Capelin, Salmon Roe, Aramaki Salmon. There are some fun events like 「Eating contest of crabs」, 「Pleasure Raffle Draw」, the place is very lively. In the festival, The Female Fishery Association provide with 「Kegani Soup」 that is very popular in this cold winter season. And the good taste milk that produced in this beautiful nature of Hiroo will be provided for free.

Schedule

・Date:Dec. 10th (sun) 2017

・Time:9:00~14:00

・Eating Contest of Kegani:10:00 open / 11:30 start

・Specialty Raffle Draw:1回目:10時30分  2回目:13時30分

・Scattering Snacks:12:30(Snacks will be scattering from the stage)

Access & Address

・Place:Seaside Park Hiroo Special Space(Nozuka, Hiroo-cho)

・Closest Station:About 2 hours by bus from JR Sekijo Line 「Hiroo Station」

・Address:989, Nozuka, Hiroo-cho

・Map

Price & Reservation

Entrance Free. Drink and food will cost. (Some food and drink will be free)

Official Website

http://www.town.hiroo.hokkaido.jp/topics/keganimatsuri.html

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About Shoto Hachiya

Hello, my name is Shoto! I’ve lived in and traveled many countries. Through the experiences, I saw a lot of different cultures and customs, and that made me realize how unique Japanese culture is.