There is no doubt that the wintertime illumination displays in Japan have spread all over the country. Every winter season, millions of LED lights send a sparkle of warmth into the cold atmosphere all over Japan. But have you ever wondered where this winter illumination craze actually came from?
Look no further: all these beautiful illuminations in Japan actually started in the cold, northern city of Sapporo. Home to a famous beer brand, mountain sports activities and the best snow in the winter. Quite a perfect place for the origin of the winter illumination tradition, don’t you think?
The illumination tradition started in Sapporo in 1981, where the first snow of winter is the sign that the charming sight of the Sapporo White Illumination is upon us. That first time in 1981, only 1048 light bulbs were used to light up the Odori Park 2-chome Plaza.
Ever since, the scale and contents of the Sapporo White Illumination have increased year after year, and because of that the beautiful sight came to be a nationally acclaimed event. In contrast to the 1048 light bulbs used when the event just started out, now there are approximately 520,000 light bulbs used at Odori Park to illuminate the objects usually centered around cosmic and Christmas themes.
Welcoming its 35th Sapporo White Illumination in 2015, the event has renewed itself transmitting once again the beauty and charm, bringing everyone’s attention to Snow and Light. The trees along Sapporo Ekimae Dori and Minami 1-jyo Dori will be draped with strings of lights and street side curtains.
There will be heart shaped bulbs in the Love Tree in the grounds of 1-Chome, a Snow Crystal motif at 3-Chome, and a Spark Fountain at 4-Chome. Food and hot drinks will also be available at the Hot Square, where you can grab a bite while enjoying the illumination displays. Also definitely check out the atmospheric Munich Christmas Market, where a variety of German foods is served, concerts are held, and indoor workshops are conducted.
Sapporo is certainly one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the winter season with all the activities and events happening here. The 35th Sapporo White Illumination will be running from November 20, 2015, until March 14, 2016. The winter season lasts for 3 months, so make sure to get here during this time and enjoy a heart-warming White Christmas!