Nothing says Christmas like Christmas trees, golden-brown roast turkey and cities blanketed in lights and Christmassy decorations.
Now Japan takes the latter to new heights with their annual Winter Illuminations, enchanting lighting events that roll out in big cities throughout Japan in November and December, with some even stretching to January and February – because hey, there’s no such thing as too much festive light in life especially if you’re a Christmas fanatic like we are.
And let’s admit it; although light shows are big in almost every big city of Japan, there are some that are a little more stunning and extravagant than the others. Here’s our #RadarList of some of our favorite Winter Illuminations you should check out, for those who are living in or travelling to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Shibuya Blue Cave Illumination (Shibuya Ao no Dokutsu)
A Shibuya street and park turned illuminating cave, Shibuya Blue Cave Illumination features about 600,000 blue LED lights that will make you feel like stepping into the Avatar’s Pandora Forest.
Tokyo Midtown Illumination
(18 November – 25 December)
One of the must-visit light festivals in Tokyo is at the park behind Tokyo Midtown. Featuring a stunning Christmas tree, a snow dome and LEDs-blanketed trees (190,000 LEDs are approximately used for this very event), it’s an event you should not miss out on.
Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights
(6 November – 26 December)
It isn’t a complete list of must-visit Japan Winter Illuminations without Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights. The Dutch-style theme park is a slice of Netherlands in Japan and it offers light shows with different themes according to seasons and holidays throughout the year. Christmas time is one of the best moments to enjoy the park’s illumination event. This year, Huis Ten Bosch will showcase Christmas spirit at its best with illuminated Christmas Town, Christmas Fireworks, Silver Illumination, Flower Passage, Christmas Shows and more. For more information, click https://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/event/hikari/xmas/
Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro Illumination
For Winter Illumination that oozes out more of the old-school, vintage charm, head over to one of Japan’s historical sites like Kyoto for its mesmerizing Arashiyama Hanatouro Illumination. Happening for 10 days only, this light event that highlights open-air lanterns takes place in the bamboo grove of Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji Temple, Hōrin-ji Temple and on the 155-metre-long Togetsukyo Bridge.