Photo: TTPO

Sendai's Pageant of Starlight

A one month illumination celebration

Mid Dec
Mid Jan
Photo: TTPO
When: Mid Dec 2022 - Mid Jan 2023

The Sendai Pageant of Starlight is one of Japan's biggest winter illumination displays. Typically from early December through December 31st, 600,000 Christmas lights illuminate the zelkova trees along Jozenji-dori​ in downtown Sendai. At adjacent Kotodai Park (Kotodaikoen), accessed via the Kotodaikoen subway station on the Nanboku line, are several picture worthy light displays. Across from the park, a temporary ice rink is set up for anyone to enjoy.

With New Year's just around the corner, the Pageant of Starlight event is a festive time. It is popular with families and especially couples. After strolling up and down the street under the tunnel of lights, it is easy to stop by one of the many restaurants and cafes in the downtown area to warm up. Some nights in December it will be snowing, but it is usually not a heavy snow and actually adds to the magic evening. Keep a lookout for Santa Clauses on motorcycles!

Getting there

Directly outside of Kotodaikoen Station's east-side

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Dale A. Brown

Dale A. Brown @dale.brown

I was born and raised just outside of the city of Portland in beautiful Oregon wine country in the United States. In 2011 traveled to and studied at Akita International University focusing on Japanese culture and language as well as Korean culture. I graduated from Portland State University in 2012 with a degree in History. Today I live in Nikko, in Tochigi prefecture and work as an assistant language teacher at three local high schools. I have a passion and deep love for Japan, it's culture, and the people who live here. I am so pleased that I can share my experiences here with other people.

Join the discussion

Kim a year ago
Sherilyn Siy a year ago
Rare for illumination events to go on till March.
Joe Kotrly 3 years ago
Looks absolutely stunning - really looking forward to seeing it this winter.
Elena Lisina 4 years ago
Very beautiful!