Best Illuminations to See in Japan

November is coming to a close, which means that the holiday season in Japan will soon officially begin. It is the final stretch of work until the December holidays, so many employees find themselves in a scramble to get their projects done for the year. There is also a notable surge in the amount of ads you will get for Black Friday and Christmas sales. On top of that, there are still gifts to buy for family and friends. 

With all the noise around the year end, sometimes you need a break to enjoy the simple things. A trip to see a carefully crafted display of lights may just be the perfect downtime you need during this part of the year. Here are the best illuminations to see in Japan.

Tokyo

There are many illuminations set up around the city, so you may even run into one unintentionally. Every year, one of the most prominent illuminations is the Roppongi Hills Christmas Illumination. The white lights on the trees line the streets and highlight the surrounding shops and restaurants, serving as a good reminder to finish all your winter plans and last minute shopping.

Tokyo Midtown Hibiya is also remarkable for preparing three different illumination displays, with some that can be enjoyed from November all the way through February. The Hibiya Magic Time Illumination will be live with the Hibiya Area Illumination and Park View Winter Garden from November 18 to February 14 to light up the streets of Hibiya and Hibiya Park in a beautiful array of colors for any visitors passing by. There will also be an additional illumination available until December 26 at Hibiya Step Square, where the famous space will be lit with the theme “TOMORROW — a new beginning” and soundtracked with music from masterpiece films and plays to celebrate the release of the new Disney film, Encanto

Kanagawa

Located a little more than an hour and a half outside of Tokyo by train, Sagamiko Illumillion is the place to go for real illumination enthusiasts in the Kanto region. Boasting more than six million light bulbs in the display, it is an impressive layout. This spot is a great day trip destination for anyone living in Kanagawa or Tokyo, but when you consider that there is an amusement park, onsen, barbeque area, and campsite nearby, it becomes a memorable vacation for just about anyone.

Tochigi

Found in Tochigi Prefecture, Ashikaga Flower Park is a flower-themed arrangement which, in the winter time, is one of Japan’s biggest and most popular illuminations. Here you will find tunnels made of flowers and lights, beautiful light wall mosaics, Christmas trees, and even a castle. The usual daytime scenery of the hanging great wisteria flowers get a boost from the LEDs at night to make for a truly unique backdrop. It’s a perfect spot for family photos or Instagram stories.

Hokkaido

For anyone who wants to escape crowds and explore on their own, Hakodate Winter Festival is the ideal illumination. It isn’t really a big event; rather, it is rather several decorations spread out across Hakodate Bay Area. From a fireworks show at Midorinoshima to the Hakodate Garden of Lights, there are plenty of things to see. If you act fast, you may even still be able to catch a half-priced Shinkansen ticket to get there, too!

Osaka

The Osaka Festival of Lights takes place on Midosuji Avenue. This three-kilometer street is one of Osaka’s most symbolic thoroughfares and the accompanying lights make it one of the longest stretches of illuminated street in the world. In the neighboring Nakanoshima area, the Osaka Hikari-Renaissance illumination takes advantage of the waterfront scenery to create a futuristic decoration. Of course being Osaka, street food stalls will also be lining the streets so that you can grab a bite on the go.

Nagasaki

The famous Dutch theme park, Huis Ten Bosch, is home to one of the most famous illumination locations in Japan. Kingdom of Lights is a massive event that makes full use of the European-style architecture to allow the more than 13 million lights to shine. This is one place where you will need to spend some considerable time to see it all. With all the family fun and attractions, it isn’t just one of Japan’s best illuminations: it is one of the best night views you can see in the country.

An LED light is such a simple pleasure. When life is at its busiest and you are feeling the pressure, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the small moments. There are plenty of options to go and see illuminations in Japan, so go out there with someone you love, and enjoy the lights!

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