Late Oct
Early Jan

Santa Hills Illumination

Annual winter light up event at Santa Hills

Venue: Santa Hills When: Late Oct 2022 - Early Jan 2023

Santa Hills is a campsite with a café and a Christmas shop which sells, among other things, life size Santa statues. It is located in Nakagawa Town in the Nasu district of Tochigi.

Its Christmas all year round at Santa Hills, but in late Autumn and early winter they step it up a notch with their annual night illumination. The illumination features a large real Christmas tree decorated in fairy lights, and 20,000 other lights dangled from the trees and fences in the reception area. They have a couple of photo spots too which also have fairy light decoration.

Despite its remote location, Santa Hills attracts hundreds of visitors annually during the Christmas period. The light up is open to the public, but guests of the campsite can also receive a visit from Santa. The Santa meet and greet is currently scheduled to go ahead despite the Coronavirus. The light up is on daily from Saturday October 31st to Sunday January 3rd. Each evening they have a count down to the switch on which adds to the atmosphere.

Getting there

By public transport: Take a bus from Tohoku Main Line Ujie station, bound for Bato, to Ushirozawa bus stop and walk 30 minutes to Santa Hills.

By car: There are a few interchanges on the Tohoku expressway you can use. The easiest is the Yaita interchange. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to Santa Hills from that exit.

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Kim 2 years ago
Somewhere called Santa Hills immediately sounds like a perfect place to visit during the festive season!
Elena Lisina 2 years ago
Is Christmas too commercial in Japan? My American friends complain that in their country it has become too commercial rather than spiritual. They'd prefer it to be a good family celebration with attending church and doing some charity.
Elena Lisina 2 years ago
In this aspect, I prefer real traditions based on spiritual things. There are many great traditional festivals and holidays in Japan! I never eat at KFC or McDonalds, but I like pizza. :D