Sapporo lilac festival has become one of my favorite yearly events to celebrate during spring in Hokkaido. People here actually get mad living in the cold winter months from early-December to April. The weather in Sapporo city gets warmer in the month of May. Also this is the month of spring flower blooming season. At the time Hokkaido’s gardens and parks get decorated with cherry, plum, shibazakura, tulips, lilac and etc. The grounds of Sapporo and the entire Hokkaido region turn to a massive flower kingdom.

Lilac at Odori Park, Sapporo. Photo Credit: Tetsuya Aoki at Flickr.

In general, lilac is seen to be a popular summer flower but in Hokkaido is marked as a spring flower. There are hundreds kinds of lilac can be found in Sapporo. At the Kawashimo Park, there are 200 different varieties of lilac you can see. The flower itself is quite attractive as it is seen to be one of the popular ornamental plants on earth. This kind of sweet-smelling flower is bloomed to be loved by millions of nature enthusiasts. Anyway, along with viewing lilac make sure you that you have time to participate on an outdoor tea ceremony.

Insight into Sapporo Lilac Festival

Beautiful Lilac at Odori Park, Sapporo. Photo Credit: Takeshi OSAWA at Flickr.

I bet that not many people have heard of this flower festival before. To make you aware of it I have decided to share something about the festival. The first question you may have on your mind is “when and where does it celebrated in Sapporo?” The question indicates the actual location of the festival. Well, the festival takes place in two different locations, they are: Odori Park and Kawashimo Park. And will be celebrated from May 18-May 29, 2016. I will describe the both places separately later.

Lilac is the official tree of Sapporo as it was designated such in 1960. The festival began in 1959. In comparison with other great festivals celebrated throughout Japan it is a quite new festival. However, this is quite remarkable festival which local hardly could ignore it. They pay their full attention to it by visiting it and doing so many fun things there. Along with viewing lilacs you can see a music festival there, be part of an outdoor tea ceremony, photo contest, various workshops, wine and street food stalls.

You can walk and have some rest sitting on the benches. Photo Credit: MARK’N MARKUS

Odori Park is famous for the greatest “Sapporo Snow Festival”. It is the biggest winter festival of Japan held in February each year. In fact, Odori Park has its beautiful strolling paths through which one can walk and view lilacs and other flower plants. The park has about 400 lilac trees. You have a little gift to receive here which is you will be given lilac seedlings on the first day of the festival. Most of the fun activities can be experienced here in this site such as you can attend an origami class to learn basic to advanced origami, you can see how Japanese outdoor tea ceremony is done step by step, you can have your portrait drawn by professional manga artists, you can learn flower arts and many more. In addition, there is a delightful music show, lilac exhibition, seasonal fresh vegetables sales shops, and taste various kinds of local wines which come from different parts of Hokkaido including a Ramen Show. You know ramen is a popular noodle dish here in Hokkaido region.

You can buy so many things from the shops at Sapporo lilac festival.

While on the other hand, at the Kawashimo Park, there are about 1700 lilac trees of 200 different kinds. It is really relaxing taking a stroll around the park and view such a large number of lilacs in a single place. There is a fun hands-on activity which is pressed-flower bookmarks, I tried it and it was lovely and something to learn. The park is specious so don’t you bother to have an outdoor picnic party there. No one will tell you anything but be sure to not to throw away the trashes around better use the trash can.

Important Things to Know

Lilacs at Kawashimo Park, Sapporo.

Place & Address: Odori Park 4-chome ~ 7-chome
Kawashimo Park (Kawashimo 2651-3-gai, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo)
Festival Period: Odori Park: May 18–May 29, 2016
Kawashimo Park: May 28–May 29, 2016
Tel: 011-281-6400 (Sapporo Lilac Festival Executive Committee)
Official website:

How to get to Sapporo Lilac Festival?
Access to Odori Park: 3-4 min. walk from Subway Odori Station
Access to Kawashimo Park: From Shiroishi Station, Shin-Sapporo Station (Subway Tozai Line), take a bus.

After visiting Odori Park area to see lilac festival there, I was very happy. I think this year lilacs are the best ever I have seen in my life. You can get to Kawashimo park which is a really beautiful park to see hundreds of lilac. You won’t be alone there because a lot of people would like to join with you including me. Hopefully, together we can have a great day seeing lovely lilacs at Kawashimo Park. Thank you very much.

Copyright 2016 @ takkhis