Must-see Events from April to June!

Iomante Fire Festival

18th March 2020~30th November 2020

Experience the wonder of traditional Ainu dance!

Traditional Ainu Dance was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.
Delve into the traditional world of the Ainu people in this performance which interweaves sound and light in a narrative re-telling of time-honored rites and rituals of the Ainu, such as “the flame-lit “Bear Festival”, known to the Ainu people as “Iomante”. Personally experience the world as seen through the eyes of the Ainu through traditional dances, and the stirring sounds of the “mukkuri” (mouth harp) and the stringed instrument “tonkori”.

  • Kushiro Akan Onsen / The Ainu Theater Ikor
  • Adults (Middle School Students and above) 1, 200 yen, Elementary School Students 600 yen
  • Approximately 45 minutes flight from New Chitose Airport to Kushiro Airport. Approximately 110 minutes by Akan Bus from Kushiro Airport.

Lake Toya Long-run Fireworks Festival

28th April 2020~31st October 2020

See the Longest Running Fireworks Festival in All of Japan!

Every evening, the night sky above Lake Toya is alive with vibrant bursts of light. For 20 minutes from 20:45 to 21:05, you are invited to come watch this very special fireworks display. Launched from boats that glide across the lake, these colourful fireworks are visible from the Toyako Onsen Lakeside. You can even watch them from the comfort of your hotel room! Or if you fancy a bit of a walk, why not follow along with the boats as they slowly skirt along the coastline and get to experience the fireworks up close and personal?

  • Toyako Onsen / Town of Toyako
  • Approx. 110 minute ride from Sapporo Station on the JR train to Toya Station. From Toya Station, either a 10 minute taxi ride or a 25 minute bus ride

Jozankei Nature Luminarie “Secret Night Park”

Early June 2020~Mid-October 2020

A Must-See! Multicoloured Illuminations in Jozankei!

In Jozankei, a hot spring resort town in the Sapporo area, the night is aglow with the ethereal “Secret Night Park.” Get transported to another world, a place of mysterious light deep within the heart of the forest. This gorgeous display of lighting runs the length of the walking path from Futami Park to the Futami suspension bridge. Make sure to put on your traditional yukata (Japanese bathrobe) when you go for this enchanting night stroll.

Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival

25th April 2020~12th May 2020

Not to be Missed! The Brilliant Glow of Cherry Blossoms at Night, and 10,000Cherry Blossom Trees of 250 Varieties

Ranked as one of the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan, Matsumae Park is home to around 10,000 cherry trees of different varieties, earning it’s reputation as one of Hokkaido’s most popular cherry blossom viewing sites. Featuring early, mid and late blooming blossoms, it is possible to enjoy the cherry blossoms here over an exceptionally long period of one month from late April until the late May.
Besides the cherry blossoms, it is highly recommended that you check out some of Matsumae Park’s other interesting spots, including the symbolic Matsumae Castle, Ryu’unin, Hongenji, the Matsumae Clan’s family temple and graveyard; all relics of Hakodate’s history as a former castle town.

  • Matasumae / Matsumae Park
  • Approximately 60 minutes from JR Hakodate station to Kikunai Station on the Donan Isaribi Tetsudou line. From Kikunai Station take the Hakodate Bus (heading towards “Hakodate Bus Matsumae Office”) and disembark at “Matsumae-jo”, approx. 90 mins. ス

Higashimokoto Shibazakura Festival

3rd March 2020~31st May 2020

Take a Helicopter Ride to Admire the Shibazakura in Full Bloom in Ozora!

A Popular spot for seeing Shibazakura (Pink Moss); “Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park”.From around mid-May until the start of June, Shibazakura, or “moss flox” in English, can be seen in full bloom within the 10-hectare wide expanse of Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park. Stroll through the park, taking in the faintly sweet smell of the flowers which surround you. Standing at the top of the hill you will see the bright pink tori gate of Yamatsumi Shrine which, in collaboration with the shibazakura, makes for a wonderful commemorative photo spot! The shibazakura sightseeing bus, which follows a leisurely course around the park, is very convenient for families with young children! Helicopter rides also run throughout the shibazakura season; enjoy a birds-eye view of the sea of pink flowers stretched out before you!

  • Ozora / Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park
  • Adults 500 yen, Elementary School Students 250 yen
  • Approx. 50 minutes from JR Abashiri Station by “Abashiri Kankou Koutsu” Bus. Disembark at “Higashimokoto Bus Company”, and take a taxi, approx. 5~6 mins.

Takinoue Shibazakura Festival

8th May 2020~7th June 2020

Enjoy Fabulous Pink Hillside of Takinoue!

A Popular spot for viewing the shibazakura, “Takinoue Park”. Each year from around the start of May to the start of June, shibazakura blooms in the 10-hectare wide Takinoue Park, wrapping the entire hillside in a swathe of pink. Many live events can be seen throughout the this period, particularly on the weekends. Only during this event, it is possible to take a helicopter ride to enjoy the spectacle of the shibazakura in full bloom- be surenot to miss out on this this unique experience! The park also features a range of gourmet foods for you to try; savor the taste of shibazakura soft cream whilst surrounded by the sweet smell of the flowers!

  • Takinoue / Takinoue Park
  • Adults 500 yen, Elementary School Students 250 yen
  • Approx. 3 hours 30 mins by highway express bus (Ryuhyou Monbetsu Go) from Sapporo (direct bus). OR approx. 4 hours 30 mins by regular bus (via. Asahikawa). Alight at Takinoue, and walk, approx. 10 mins.

Hell Valley Demon Firework Display

Start of June~End of July (Expected), Closed on Thursdays and Fridays

Watch as Demons Brandishing Fireworks Light Up the Night Sky Above Noboribetsu Onsen!

A popular summer event held in the Jigokudani (“Hell Valley”) area of Noboribetsu Onsen, one of Hokkaido’s most well-known hot spring towns. Every Thursday and Friday night during the event period, “Yukijin”, demon spirits who are said to protect and maintain the flow of hot water to Noboribetsu Onsen, launch handheld fireworks in the night sky in order to wish for the happiness and safety of the local people. The fireworks shoot an impressive 8 meters into the sky, making this event a powerful sight to behold! After the performance the blue and red demons will even allow you to take photos with them!

  • Noboribetsu / Noboribetsu Onsen Jigokudani Observatory
  • Approx. 110 mins. By Hokkaido Chuo Bus (Muroran Express Bus) from Sapporo Bus Terminal. Alight at Noboribetsu and walk, approx. 10 mins.

YOSAKOI Soran Festival

10th June 2020~14th June 2020

The Whole Town Becomes a Stage! The Passionate Dances of Sapporo’s Yosakoi Festival.

Around 270 Yosakoi teams take part in the YOSAKOI Soran Festival, which sees around 30,000 dancers take to the streets of Sapporo to perform their passionate dance routines. During the Odori Park site features a paid seating space, as well as free standing space offering a view of the Yosakoi dance parade. At Nishi 8-Chome there is also a paid seating area offering a full view of the main stage, as well as an area where you can view the dancing from close up for free! It is highly recommended that you book seating in advance to enjoy the festival at your leisure. For those looking for a more up-close and personal experience of the festival, it is possible to join in with the dancers at the “Waodori Square”.