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Must-see Illuminations in Japan 2021-2022

Culture

ReleaseDecember 15, 2021

Entering December, the illuminations to be seen under the clear winter skies are nothing short of mesmerizing. Here, we introduce illumination events that can be enjoyed outside of Tokyo.

① Kami-no-Sumuyama, Lake Towada FeStA LuCe 2021-2022 (Towada City, Aomori Prefecture)


Kami-no-Sumuyama, Lake Towada FeStA LuCe 2021-2022
The name “FeStA LuCe” is taken from the Italian words “festa” (festival) and “luce” (light). This event allows visitors to enjoy a special illuminated world. Starting last year, the Lake Towada FeStA LuCe event’s entrancing illuminations sparkle in a snowy wonderland, creating a magical winter world.

Kami-no-Sumuyama, Lake Towada FeStA LuCe 2021-2022
Kami-no-Sumuyama, Lake Towada FeStA LuCe 2021-2022
Kami-no-Sumuyama, Lake Towada FeStA LuCe 2021-2022

Event period

“First chapter: A Story of Autumn Foliage in Light”
Every day from October 21 (Thu)-November 23 (Tue)
“Second chapter: A Story of Winter in Light”
December 4 (Sat)-February 20 (Sun), Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays excluding December 29 (Wed)-December 30 (Thu)
Fireworks display on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays during January and February (excluding January 1 and 2)

Event hours

5:30-9:00 PM (Last admission 8:30 PM)
Closing time on days of fireworks display will be extended to 9:30 PM (Last admission 9:00 PM)

Admission fees

Ticket at door: 1,600 yen (adults)

Access

2 hrs 15 min by JR Bus to Lake Towada from Hachinohe Station (JR), get off at Towada-ko (Kyuya) stop
https://festaluce.jp/aomori/

② Ashikaga Flower Park “The garden of illuminated flowers — Flower Fantasy 2021” (Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture)


Ashikaga Flower Park illumination
Alongside the “Sapporo White Illumination” and Huis Ten Bosch’s “Kingdom of Lights,” Ashikaga Flower Park’s light show is regarded as one of Japan’s top three illumination events. This year, the park celebrates the 20th anniversary of the illumination event. Enjoy the collaboration of flowers and light in the updated Flower Castle and “Illuminated Flower Basin” exhibit.

Ashikaga Flower Park illumination
Ashikaga Flower Park illumination
Ashikaga Flower Park illumination
Ashikaga Flower Park illumination

Event period

Until February 14, 2022 4:30-8:30 PM
(*Open until 9:00 PM on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Scheduled to remain open until 9:00 PM on weekdays from early December to early January, and until 9:30 PM on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays)

Admission fees

Fees vary depending on the blossoming of the flowers

Access

3-min walk from Ashikaga Flower Park Station (JR)
https://www.ashikaga.co.jp/flowerfantasy_special2021/en/index.html

③ “Lake Sagami Illumillion,” one of Kanto’s top 3 illuminations (Sagami City, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Lake Sagami Illumillion

This dynamic, thematic illumination utilizes the contours and slopes of the immense 40,000 sq. meters park. In addition to the magnificent glow of six million lights, a scale rarely surpassed in the Kanto region, there are the “Rainbow Lifts,” the “Ferris Wheel of Light,” and other interactive features. This year there will also be a collaborative space on the mountain summit.

Lake Sagami Illumillion
Lake Sagami Illumillion
Lake Sagami Illumillion
Lake Sagami Illumillion

Event period

November 13, 2021 (Sat)-April 3, 2021 (Sun)

Event hours

November: Weekdays 4:00-8:30 PM, Weekends/Holidays 4:00-9:00 PM
December: Weekdays 4:00-9:00 PM, Weekends/Holidays 4:00-9:30 PM
*Admission until 30 minutes before closing time.
*Opening and illumination hours vary depending on the season.
*Daytime visitors can enjoy Illumillion without additional fees.

Admission fees

Admission: 1,900 yen (adults), Free pass: 4,500 yen (adults)

Nighttime admission fees

Admission + lift: 1,500 yen (adults), Nighttime free pass: 2,800 yen (adults)

Access

Sagamiko Station (JR), then 8 min from “Pleasure Forest Mae” bus stop
Direct bus available to “Lake Sagami Illumillion” from Shinjuku Station, Yokohama Station, and other greater metropolitan areas
https://www.sagamiko-resort.jp/illumillion/

④ ~First in Japan! An interactive illumination experience~ “Izu Granpal Park Gran Illumination~7th Season~” (Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture)


Izu Granpal Park Gran Illumination

This event is full of nighttime spectacles like “Dino Age Kart,” an attraction where you can speed past moving, life-size dinosaurs on a go-cart. A new area is “Walk on the Illumi,” where you can stroll above the illuminations while passing under an enchanting arch.

Izu Granpal Park Gran Illumination
Izu Granpal Park Gran Illumination
Izu Granpal Park Gran Illumination

Event period

November 13, 2021-August 2022 (TBD)
*May vary depending on season and day of the week (please visit website for details)

Event hours

November 13-November 30, 2021 5:00-9:30 PM
December 1-January 5, 2022 4:30-9:30 PM
January 6-January 31 5:00-9:30 PM
February 1-February 28 5:30-9:30 PM
March 1-April 3 6:00-9:30 PM

Admission fees

1,500 yen (junior high school students and over)
800 yen (elementary school students)
Free (infants) *Children under elementary school age must be accompanied by an adult

Access

10-min bus ride on the Tokai Bus from Izu Kogen Station (Izu Kyuko)
https://granillumi.com/

⑤ Nabana no Sato (Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture)


Nabana no Sato
Renowned for its beauty in harmony with the season’s natural charm, illumination fans from all over the country come to see this event. This year’s theme is “UNKAI” (Sea of Clouds). Enjoy a spectacular illumination that recreates mountains glimmering in the open sky and a dynamic sea of clouds.

Nabana no Sato
Nabana no Sato
Nabana no Sato

Event period

October 23, 2021 (Sat)-May 31, 2022 (Tue)
Closed: January 11, 2022 (Tue)-13 (Thu), January 24 (Mon)-28 (Fri)

Event hours

Please check the official website:https://www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp/nabana/fee/calendar/index.html

Admission fees

2,300 yen (general ticket, includes 1,000-yen Nabana coupon)
2,300 yen (elementary school students and over, includes 1,000-yen coupon valid inside park)

Access

10-min bus ride from Kintetsu-Nagashima Station
https://www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp/nabana/

⑥ Huis Ten Bosch “Kingdom of Lights” (Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture)


Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights

Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights
This illumination event at “Huis Ten Bosch,” the largest theme park in Japan, is renowned for presenting a different nighttime scene depending on the season. During the day, the European townscape themed park already offers visitors the sensation of being abroad. Nonetheless, the glimmer of the illuminated night is pure magic. Dynamic illuminations take advantage of the park’s vast space, from the 85-meter fountain show, one of the longest in Japan, to the “Silver Wonderland” with its impeccable white glow.

Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights
Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights
Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights
Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights
Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights
Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights

Event period

All year

Event hours

Please check the official website

Admission fees

Please check the official website

Access

1 hr 45 min from Hakata Station (JR) on JR Limited Express “Huis Ten Bosch”
https://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/event/hikari/
©HUIS TEN BOSCH

⑦ Kokura Illumination (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture)


Kokura Illumination

A beautiful “starlight tunnel”! The illuminations on the upper part of the illuminated tunnel change seasonally. The state-of-the-art light show will have you wanting to visit over and over again!

Kokura Illumination
Kokura Illumination

Event period

Until January 10, 2022 (Mon)

Illumination hours

5:00-10:00 PM

Admission fees

Free of charge

Access

Kokura Station (JR)
http://kokura-illumination.jp/

⑧ Okinawa Nangoku Illumination 2021-2022 (Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture)


Okinawa Nangoku Illumination

Okinawa Nangoku Illumination
In 2019, the Okinawa Nangoku Illumination was designated as the prefecture’s first “Night View Heritage of Japan,” and in 2020 it placed 7th in the national Illumination Awards.
As part of the “Flying Pikachu Project,” the Pokémon area opened this year. You can also enjoy the “Lotus of Light” that recreates the summer’s blooming lotus flowers, along with other vivid illuminations that conjure up a tropical atmosphere.

Okinawa Nangoku Illumination
Okinawa Nangoku Illumination

Event period

Until May 29, 2022 (Sun)

Event hours

5:00-10:00 PM (Last admission 9:30 PM)

Admission fees

Night (5:00-10:00 PM): 1,980 yen (adults)
One day (9:00 AM-10:00 PM): 2,480 yen (adults)
*A Christmas event will be held from December 23 to 26. Admission fees will differ during this period.

Access

50-min drive from Naha Airport, 5-min drive from Okinawa North IC on the Okinawa Expressway
https://www.southeast-botanical.jp/events/detail.php?id=41


*The information herein is as of November 2021