Sapporo lilac festival has become one of my favorite annual events to celebrate in Hokkaido in spring. It is a spring festival that locals eagerly wait for.
Winter is longer here, so everyone looks forward to this festival in May, where they can enjoy the beautiful weather, walk around, and eat delicious food without wearing winter attires.
Even during the cherry blossom season, the weather in Sapporo is quite cold. It’s true that the weather gets warmer in the month of May in Sapporo.
In mid-May, you can see Yaezakura, the late blooming sakura alongside stunning lilacs in Sapporo. Surprised?!
In spring, Hokkaido’s gardens and parks flooded with cherry, plum, shibazakura, tulips, lilacs and other seasonal flowers. The areas of Sapporo, and most of the Hokkaido region turn to a massive flower kingdom.
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 about 200 different varieties of lilac you can discover.
The flower itself is quite attractive as it is considered 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.
Along with viewing stunning lilacs blossoms in Odori Park and Kawashimo Park, be sure to participate on an outdoor tea ceremony. It will be an amazing experience for you.
Insight into Sapporo Lilac Festival
Lilacs come in a variety of colors, ranging from deep purple to light blue, light purple, and pure white. Even you can see light pink lilacs in Odori Park.
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.
This flower festival takes place in two different locations, they are: Odori Park and Kawashimo Park. I will describe the both places separately soon in this post.
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.
Immerse yourself in the Lilac Festival, eat special food and drinks, enjoy the music festival, experience the outdoor tea ceremony, photo contest, and various workshops.
Odori Park and Kawashimo Park
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.
Visitors can see how Japanese outdoor tea ceremony is done with step by step instructions, also you can have your portrait drawn by professional manga artists, and learn different sorts of flower arts and so on.
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!
On the other hand, in 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
Place & Address: Odori Park 4-chome ~ 7-chome
Kawashimo Park (Kawashimo 2651-3-gai, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo)
Festival Date: May 17 – 28 at Odori Park, and May 27 – 28 at Kawashimo Park, 2023
Tel: 011-281-6400 (Sapporo Lilac Festival Executive Committee)
Official website: http://lilac.sapporo-fes.com/
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 spring!
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 in the park.
Thank you very much.