It’s Like a Fairyland! Don’t Miss Winter Event at “Shiroi Koibito Park” in Sapporo, Hokkaido
Are Sapporo Snow Festival and snow activities like skiing and snowboarding the only winter highlights of Hokkaido? No, not at all! Count in “Shiroi Koibito Park”, please. It is less known but a must-see sightseeing spot with fantastic illumination. As many as 110,000 lights gorgeously decorate a 10-meter tall tree, Santa Clause’s sleigh and reindeer. And 250 snowmen will greet you at your arrival.
What Kind of Place Is “Shiroi Koibito Park”?
Any Japanese knows “Shiroi Koibito” as a popular souvenir from Hokkaido. White chocolate is sandwiched by crispy langue de chat biscuits (narrow rectangular cookies), and they are moderately sweet also enjoyed by adults. This year marks the 40th anniversary since its first sale. They stared offering milk chocolate flavor in recent years, gaining popularity in this variation, too.
At “Shiroi Koibito Park” you can look at the production process of this famous snack, and you can also experience creating your own original snack. One of the tours allows you to make a big heart-shaped “Shiroi Koibito”, as big as 14 cm each, and this tour is particularly popular to a wide audience from families with children to couples.
Lots of Lovely Attractions in the Courtyard of the Park!
The courtyard is filled with colorful flowers such as roses, and there is the “Karakuri Clock Tower”, which is the symbol of the park. At every hour animals show up and hold a joyful chocolate carnival with bubbles appearing all over the place and light music chiming in, they make the carnival ever merrier.
A miniature railroad is also a popular attraction here. A small steam locomotive runs on a joyfully designed course by a candy house or through a tunnel.
In addition, many lovely “Gulliver Houses” are built in the courtyard. It is so much fun to be inside that children may not come out once they get in. So please be careful!
Finally the Illumination at Night!
At 4:30 PM in the evening, the fairyland atmosphere changes into a beautiful fantasy landscape with the addition of illumination with 110,000 lights. I visited here at the beginning of November but the ground was already covered with snow and the colorful illumination was beautiful against the pure white snow.
The first thing that jumps into your vision is the 10-meter tall main tree. It is decorated with pretty ribbons, hearts and stars. The attractive illumination grabs your attention by running up and down as if it were flowing.
The 250 snowmen and Gulliver Houses will show very different appearances from how they look during the day time. There are many snowmen big and small, but the ones at the windows of Tudor House are worth looking at closely. When you look at them carefully, you will find they all have different facial expressions.
The sleigh pulled by reindeer is a perfect spot to take photos. I was surprised when these reindeer moved their necks and bodies. They looked as if they were feeding or stretching their bodies and necks, waiting for their master to arrive. Please don’t forget riding the sleigh and be their master. Watch out so that you won’t drop presents that are piled up in the back of the sleigh!
The passage goes under blue glowing arches and this too is a popular spot for taking photos. Snowmen with scarves line up at the side of the arches.
Starting in November, the temperature at night in Sapporo falls often below freezing. You can warm up your chilled body with hot chocolate or soup!
Would You Like Souvenirs That Are Exclusively Offered Only for Winter?
Demonstrations at “Candy Laboratory” are a must-see attraction in which hot candy of various colors and flavor are combined into a highly artistic candy. Candy chunks as big as an adult palm in diameter is stretched thinner to form a small candy. You cannot take your eyes off from the process.
Santa Claus, reindeer, snowman, and fir tree candies are available only for this season. How about picking them up as a gift for someone who is waiting for your return?
<Shiroi Koibito Park>
Address: 2-2-11-36 Miyanosawa, Nishi-ku Sapporo City, Hokkaido, Map
Illumination Period: November 3 (Thu), 2016 to March 20 (Mon), 2017
Illumination Hours: 4:30 PM ~ 7:30 PM (Watch from the outside of the gate after 7 PM)