We’ve said it a few times, and we’ll say it again: Kiroro is seriously family-friendly. And with all their dedication to making sure the kids are as happy as can be, with loads of facilities and activities, the resort does not skimp out on Christmas spirit.
That might seem odd, because, as we know, the Japanese don’t really do Christmas – heck, their idea of a Christmas dinner is KFC! However, they do love that big guy in the velvety red suit and massive white beard – well their version of Santa that is…
Now, details for 2019 Christmas events in Kiroro have yet to be released (we’ll update you as soon as dates and times are confirmed), but based on previous years, we know what to expect.
Meet Pow Kun – He’s Got Presents!!!
So Santa to those in Kiroro is not our idea of Santa. Called Pow Kun, he’s more of a dog/squirrel hybrid that walks around on two feet and dresses like Santa. If that’s conjuring up odd images in your head, think of him instead as a sweet little anime character who spreads Christmas cheer.
Pow Kun will spend the days around Christmas wandering the resort. Where he’ll be at any given time is a surprise – he might walk into the lobby of Yu Kiroro at the end of your ski day, or you might find him at the top of a ski lift. Wherever he is though, he’ll be toting around bags of presents and sweets for all the kiddies.
Christmas spirit has a hint of magic to it, so of course, magic shows are on the agenda! So, go on and have a drink – the kids will be busy getting wowed by card tricks and rabbits appearing from the inside of a hat.
The local radio station likes to come out and set up shop at the base of the resort while blasting all the holiday tunes you know and love. It’s a great breather for the kids and an even better one for you, especially if you can get up and out early enough to take advantage of the free cups of hot cocoa that the resort is known to give out starting from around 9.30 AM – just get there early enough, they do run out!
Party at the Ski Academy
On Christmas Eve, the ski academy typically puts on a party for all the kids in their care. Past events have been full of party food, face painting and some bizarre entertainment care of the instructors (previous years have seen instructors putting on Christmas shows while dressed as Superman and Spiderman – the connection to Christmas is thin, but it’s good fun regardless!)
Santa or Pow Kun, in this case, will arrive at the academy via sleigh with presents for all the kids (if they haven’t received enough from him already!)
The Sheraton Hokkaido Resort likes to put on a show over the holidays. On Christmas Day, head over to the hotel’s deck and watch the colourful display!
Sapporo White Illumination
Ok, so Sapporo is not in Kiroro – it’s an hour away, but if you need a day off from the slopes, Sapporo’s White Illumination Festival is worth a look. The annual event, which first came about in 1981 is Japan’s first illumination event. At Odori Park, the event runs from late November and late December (it is open on Christmas) and uses 780,000 light bulbs to decorate trees and other objects.
This year, Sapporo is getting together with sister city, Munich, Germany and you’ll be able to find lots of classic German dishes, hot wine and Christmas goodies.
Address: Odori 1〜8 Chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0042
Open Hours: 4.30 PM – 10.00 PM. (December 23 – 25 closes at 12:00 AM)