Most Popular Hokkaido Spring Events and Festivals 2019
As the weather is getting warmer and warmer, any Japanese cannot help but go outside. Spring is the best season when people in Hokkaido start hanging outside. Warm weather comes a bit later compared with the rest of Japan in Sapporo, and the winter is quite cold. While some people like to go and see nature, others enjoy events and activities. If you like to enjoy both, Sapporo Lilac Festival is waiting for you this spring.
Sapporo Lilac Festival is an annual spring festival in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The event takes place around mid through late of May (15th – 31st) for about two or three weeks. Lilac (or Lila in French) was designated as the tree of Sapporo in 1960. The city planners held the first Lilac festival to encourage people to know how beautiful the flower is and bring another cultural event to the city. Thanks to their efforts, Sapporo Lilac Festival became an event which indicates the citizens the arrival of early summer to the city. Besides, these wonderful lilacs look astonishing throughout several venues in Sapporo. Also, I suggest you enjoy a lot of events as well as various festival food.
At the festival, you can see different varieties of lilacs blossoming brilliantly at several venues. Nice early summer breeze and blossoming lilacs add the festive atmosphere to the streets and the park. If you see lilacs for the first time, you will be fascinated at how beautiful the flowers are. From white and light pink to deep purple, the lilacs have been waiting for you to tell that spring has come, and early summer is coming next.
As at many Japanese festivals, at Sapporo Lilac festival you will be able to enjoy not only local festival food from the stalls, but also enjoy various events and activities. In Odori park, you can take part in various workshops and events including Origami workshop (traditional paper folding technique) or taste Japanese tea at the ceremony outside called Nodate. In Kawashimo park, I suggest you listen to the brass band concert and get complementary lilac (the number is limited, though). Please check details of the events and activities for the year before going on a trip since the details may be different depending on a year.
If you are a wine lover, you cannot miss the opportunity to try wine from Hokkaido as well as from foreign countries. While enjoying ethnic meals from other countries such as Germany or Turkey, the wine at the festival would make a good pair to the dishes. Additionally, you just must try local food. Hokkaido features exceptionally nice local food. This festival also brings a good opportunity to Hokkaido winemakers, as they can sell their wine and let more people know about it. Besides, a bottle of wine from Hokkaido will make a pleasant souvenir.
Dates: mid through late May for two-three weeks depending on the flowering situation. Odori Park May 15th – 26th, 2019. Kawashimo Park June 1st – 2nd
Places: Odori Park, Kawashimo Park
Address: Odori Park 5-chome ~ 7-chome. Kawashimo Park (Kawashimo 2651-3-gai, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo)
Official website (Japanese only): http://lilac.sapporo-fes.com
Odori venues (Odori Park West 5 – 7 cho-me)
Around 15 minutes walk after reaching Sapporo station, 5 minutes walk after reaching Odori station via subway Nanboku, Tozai or Toho line.
Kawashimo venues (Kawashimo Park)
After reaching Shiroishi station via subway Tozai line, 5 minutes walk from Kawashimo Park “Mae” (or in front of Kawashimo Park) bus stop on Chuo Bus (Shiro 24 Kawashimo line).
Lilac grows in cold climate perfectly. And its flowers are exquisite and producing charming aroma. Probably that is why locals in Hokkaido love this flower as much as they like cherry blossoms. If you prefer to hide away from the rainy season and the heat that reaches Tokyo and all central Japan at the end of May, I suggest you visit Sapporo and enjoy this fascinating Lilac festival!
If you would like to see Lilacs in central Sapporo and explore Hokkaido with a friendly local guide, please check the banner below!
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Image courtesy of Tomomarusan
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