November 30, 12 | Gakkun
▲ The "Crystal River" is a standard at the White Illumination. Blue LED's are arranged to appear like a river when viewed from the elevated "bridge" platform.
Beautiful bright lights have begun to light up the cold Sapporo nights recently. On streets crisscrossing the city people have begun to gather to enjoy the sight. From Odori park to Sapporo Station street, even down Minmi 1-jyo, the Sapporo White Illumination Festival has begun! The festival, which runs from November 22nd through February 14th, features lovely light sculptures which pierce through the crisp, clear winter air. (Although that cold air sometimes pierces through clothing as well!)
▲ Illumination in Odori Park where many colored lights light up the night.
▲ Minami 1-jyo Area (Left) ・ Sapporo Station Road Area Illumination (Right) Bringing a radiant light to sidewalks around the city.
Visitors to Sapporo, whether here on business or for sightseeing, are able to enjoy the event freely. Currently the sun sets around 4 p.m., meaning that you can visit the illumination before heading out to dinner!
This year's White Illumination boasts a new feature, an "Eco-friendly" approach to lighting the event! At Odori 3-chome you can find the "Eco-friendly Illumination Area," where many alternative energy initiatives are being deployed. For more than ten years this spot has featured the "Solar Tree," a solar and wind powered tree illumination from Himawari NPO. The visitor center here uses LED lighting and a pellet stove for heating, helping them achieve their goal of a zero emission eco-friendly booth.
▲ (Left) 3-chome area's "Solar Illumination." (Right) A pellet stove heats the rest area, warming cold hands and feet of visitors with its flames.
In addition, with help from the Hokkaido Bio-diesel Research Society, from Odori 1-chome to 4-chome the illumination is powered by purified waste-oil from homes and businesses. This means that the whole Illumination is powered by large-scale renewable energy! This is combined with the efforts of "Dosanko Offset Club" (dosanko is a nickname for Hokkaido natives) through which the event has been taking carbon offset donations. This eco-friendly attitude has really taken off here in Hokkaido!
This is an event which proves that companies working together can heed the cry of the population to conserve energy and help prevent global warming, all while providing spectacular beauty and warmth on cold, dark winter nights. "Dedicated and steady effort brings results, the fact that we've come this far already makes me extremely happy. The lights of this year's Illumination are shining into the future, showing us what is possible." says Rumiko Shinbo, Chairman of the Board at Himawari NPO.
▲ Himawari NPO representative Rumiko Shinbo. Having worked more than ten years to provide natural energy for the Illumination Festival, she's smiling ear to ear about these new eco-friendly advancements.
In addition to the new eco-friendly attitude, there are many new features to see as well. The "Path of Light" feature is made up of giant balls of light, 80cm in diameter, lining the paths of Odori 2-chome, 3-chome, and 4-chome. Also, every day of the event the "Twinkle Lights" will perform a special "countdown" at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00, so be sure to stop by and see these new features!
▲ Here are the 80cm LED spheres that form the "Path of Light."
At Odori 2-chome you can find "Munich Christmas Town," which runs from November 26th through December 24th. This collection of Christmas themed goods and foods is an annual event in Sapporo's sister city of Munich, and they've opened up a miniature version here in the city! If you visit the White Illumination this year be sure to stop by!
▲ Munich Christmas Town is full of Christmas cheer! The reds, greens, and golds of Christmas will surely get you excited about the Holiday season. (This picture is from a past event.)
● 第32回さっぽろホワイトイルミネーション (32nd Sapporo White Illumination)
Contact the Sapporo White Illumination Executive Committee
(Part of the Sapporo Tourism Association)
TEL : 011-211-3341
Event venue and dates:
○ Odori Area (Odori Park Nishi 1-chome to Nishi 8-chome)
November 22nd (Thur.) through December 25th (Tues.), 2012.
○ Ekimae Area (In front of Sapporo Station, Kita 4-jyo to Minami 4-jyo)
November 22nd (Thur.) through February 11th (Mon.), 2013.
○ Minami 1-jyo Area (Minami 1-jyo from Nishi 1-chome to Nishi 3-chome)
November 22nd (Thur.) through February 14th (Thur.)
Scheduled Hours: 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
(December 23rd to 25th the events close at midnight.)
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Gakkun)
(Photographs provided by Sapporo City and Hokkaido Likers Writer - Gakkun)