【City of Sapporo】Winter Season: A Sweet Time to Visit Shiroi Koibito Park
post date : 2019.03.13
Shiroi Koibito Park, is a confectionary theme park run by Ishiya, a local chocolate company. They are also the maker of the Shiroi Koibito white chocolate chat de langue cookies, which have made quite a name for themselves as one of Hokkaido’s most popular edible souvenirs. As you would expect, the theme park features a wide variety of sweets themed activities including the Factory Walk where you can observe the production line for the infamous Shiroi Koibito cookies and learn all about how they’re made and gaze upon a collection of dainty and elegant cups once used for drinking chocolate, among other things, all while being greeted with the mouthwatering smell of chocolate and baked cookies wafting all around you.
Another popular attraction is the Chocolate Lounge, where you can sample said baked deliciousness along with a variety of parfaits and coffee or tea drinks. The baking cooking studio is also a hit with visitors of all ages, where you can try your hand at baking and decorating giant heart-shaped or Hokkaido-shaped cookies. In order to accommodate more guest and further improve the experience, these areas are currently closed for renovations/expansion and are expected to open again in July 2019 with a brand new look and feel.
But despite these major areas being unavailable at the moment, Shiroi Koibito Park is far from lacking in entertainment, for winter is when the courtyard nestled into the center of the park is transformed into a sparking winter wonderland ripe with attractions only found in the winter season. The courtyard, which blooms into a spectacular, multicolored rose garden in the spring, is decked out in 100,000 decorative lights from November thru March every year which reflect beautifully against the blanket of pure snow which falls on the garden. Take a leisurely stroll around the garden, taking advantage of the numerous photo opportunities. (Be sure to seek out the entrances to hidden photo spots in the miniature house models!) Popular spots for taking photos are by the 10m tall digital tree in the center of the garden and the gazebo. With all the lights reflecting off the snow and the factory, which features Tudor-style architecture, as the backdrop, you just may forget that you are in Sapporo and instead think you’ve been whisked away to a fairytale wonderland.
This year the courtyard also features an interactive projection mapping experience and a special “ice free” skating rink. In the interactive projection mapping experience, guests must use a tool which resembles a candy cane called a “candy shooter” to scare away the sweets monsters coming to eat up all the sweets at the park! The experience lasts approximately 5 minutes per play and accommodates up to 16 people at one time. At the skating rink, images made of light in the shapes of stars and candy dance across the surface and play music when you pass by them, making for a unique sensory attraction.
There are also winter special events. This year, enjoy Winter Bingo and snow globe making from January thru the end of March. Try your luck at the Winter Bingo drawing and see if you win Ishiya Confectionary goods after collecting the stamps from various locations in the facility.
If you’re feeling cold, head inside to the Candy Labo to see confectioners masterfully craft colorful hard candies with tiny designs in the center. Or stop by gift shop where you can pick up a box (or two or three) of their famous Shiroi Koibito cookies and a wide assortment of other seasonal sweets sold exclusively at this store. You can even create your very own custom-made cookie box featuring a photo of you. If you’re craving something that’s not sweet, the park has you covered there as well. Both the main facility and the area across the street which contains the Shiroi Koibito soccer stadium have a variety of dining options. Try your hand at grilling the local specialty Genghis Khan, which is mutton barbeque, or warm up with a savory soup curry, another dish unique to Sapporo. Also, for a limited time, you can try local Ezo deer cuisine at any one of the three restaurants located in the main facility, including thick-cut deer steak curry, Hokkaido-style steak and rice bowls, and deer meat ragu pasta.
As part of the renovations, Shiroi Koibito Park also opened up a worship room for Muslim visitors, being the first tourist facility in Sapporo to do so. Located in the Tudor House second floor, visitors can come to the worship room (separated for men and women) to wash up and pray. The rest of the park renovations will be completed in early July, 2019. The park offers new sights and attractions seasonally, so be sure to come back for the grand re-opening and see the park in a whole new light. Until then, we hope you enjoy the beautiful winter landscape at Shiroi Koibito Park.
*While the Chocolate Lounge may be unavailable at the moment, you can still enjoy Ishiya’s signature sweets anytime you fancy, including some season-specific delicacies such as the royal milk tea and hazelnut parfait and the grape & rum raisin parfait at the Ishiya Café located in the city center.
For more information and menus, check out their website: http://www.ishiya.co.jp/cafe/
Shiroi Koibito Park (EN):
Shiroi Koibito Park Illumination:
Hokkaido Deer Meat Fair
Candy Lab general website