Winter in Japan is a magical experience. With its sparkling illuminations, festive decorations, and snow-covered landscapes, Japan is the perfect place to spend a winter holiday. From Tokyo to Nagasaki, Japan has some of the best Christmas and winter illuminations in the world. Whether you’re looking to take in the twinkling lights from the warmth of your car or take a stroll through a winter wonderland, Japan has something for everyone. So, grab your coat, bundle up, and explore the best Christmas and winter illuminations Japan has to offer.
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 17 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 25 at Hibiya Step Square, where the famous space will be lit with the theme “Starry Christmas Trees” and soundtracked with music from masterpiece films and plays “Tonight” from West Side Story.
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, barbecue area, and campsite nearby, it becomes a memorable vacation for just about anyone.
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.
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!
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.
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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