Sapporo lilac festival has become one of my favorite annual events to celebrate in Hokkaido in spring. Locals there actually get mad living in the cold winter months from early-December through April. It’s true that the weather gets warmer in the month of May in Sapporo.

This is the month when various kinds of spring flowers start to bloom. Hokkaido’s gardens and parks get decorated with cherry, plum, shibazakura, tulips, lilacs and other seasonal flowers during this time of the year. The areas of Sapporo and most of the Hokkaido region turn to a massive flower kingdom.

Lilac at Odori park, Sapporo. Photo Credit: Takeshi.yedoensis at Flickr.

Although lilac is seen to be a popular summer flower in Japan, it is referred as a spring flower in Hokkaido. There are hundreds kinds of lilac can be found in Sapporo. At the Kawashimo Park, there are 200 different varieties of lilac you can discover.

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 stunning lilacs out there, make sure that you have time to participate on an outdoor tea ceremony. It will be a hilarious experience for you.

Insight into Sapporo Lilac Festival

Sapporo lilacs. Photo Credit:

I bet that not many people have heard of this flower festival before. To make you familiar with it, I have decided to share something useful about this floral 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 15 to May 26, 2019. I will describe the both places separately later.

Lilac is the official tree of Sapporo as it was designated such in 1960. The journey of the festival began in 1959. In comparison with other great flower festivals celebrated throughout Japan, it is a new one! However, this is a remarkable festival that locals could hardly ignore. They pay their full attention to it by visiting around the spots and doing many fun things out there. Along with viewing lilacs you can see a music festival there, be part of an outdoor tea ceremony, photo contest, various workshops, taste wine and have delicious street food form the food carts.

Photo Credit: Takuya Yoshimura at Flickr.

Odori Park is famous for the greatest “Sapporo Snow Festival”. It is the biggest winter festival in Japan that takes place in early February every year. The park has its beautiful walking paths through which you can walk along and view lilacs and other flower plants. It is said that the park is home to nearly 400 lilac trees.

You have a little gift to receive there. Guess what?! Visitors are given lilac seedlings on the first day of the festival. How cool is that!

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, also you can have your portrait drawn by professional manga artists, and learn different sorts of 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. Please note that ramen is a popular noodle dish here in the Hokkaido region!

While on the other hand, at the Kawashimo Park, there are about 1700 lilac trees of 200 different kinds. It is very relaxing when you take a stroll around it and view such a large number of lilacs in a single place. There is a fun hands-on activity which is called “pressed-flower bookmarks”, I tried it and it was a fabulous experience for me.

The park is spacious, 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, you better use the trash cans.

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 Date: Odori Park: May 15 to May 26, 2019
Kawashimo Park: June 1-2, 2019
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.

I was very amazed to see beautiful lilacs at the Odori Park area. Without doubt, it was a mind-blowing outdoor experience! In search of hundreds of stunning lilacs, I suggest you to visit Kawashimo Park. You won’t be alone there, in fact, the park welcomes a lot of nature fanatics during the festival. Hopefully, together you can have a great day seeing lovely lilacs at the park. Thank you very much.