Seven Stunning Winter Illuminations That Are Must-Sees in Japan
Every year, the icy winter of Japan is transformed into a warmly lit wonderland as the country's cities irradiate in dazzling light shows. Crafted to captivate and entice, these displays have become popular attractions for both locals and visitors alike. The creative presentations use fountains, water, music, and flowers to create life-size works of art that capture the imaginations of young and old as they become immersed in a magical realm on earth. Here are some of the most impressive displays and what makes them unique.
Tokyo Dome City Winter Lights Garden
Known for its outlandishness, a staggering two million lights are arranged in a stunning display of color at this popular show. Traditional craft designs are showcased via an interactive projector that transforms them like a kaleidoscope as viewers move around the installation. In another demonstration, beautiful floral shapes launch fireworks on command.
Sagamiko Illumillion, Sagami City
Hillsides are lit up in incandescent color and animated light shows feature a water fountain dancing to music with walk-through light tunnels and brightly lit amusement park rides.
Ashikaga Flower Fantasy, Tochigi
Held at Ashikaga Flower Park, the lights hanging at this sweet display are assembled to represent a range of seasonal flowers. The park also features light shows synchronized to music that tell interesting stories, such as the Great Wisteria about how the tree blooms from its first buds to when its petals fall to the ground.
Sendai Pageant of Starlight
A warm glow bathes the area as every tree on the zelkova-lined street is swathed in light. At this exquisite display, visitors can also enjoy the light shows from a distance as they skate across an illuminated ice rink.
Known as one of the oldest illuminations in Japan, the Kobe Luminarie was originally designed in memory of the victims of the earthquake of 1995. The display includes the Light Tunnel, a majestic tunnel made up of thousands of tiny, intricately-shaped lights. It is a breathtaking display that draws millions of visitors every year.
Roppongi Hills Artelligent Christmas
This illumination is the perfect amalgamation of Western tradition and Eastern technology. A massive, beautifully-lit Christmas tree at the center of the area enchants visitors, who are encouraged to make a seasonal wish. The Keyakizaka Galaxy illumination offers a fun and interactive app that allows visitors to light up and even change the colors of the display.
Kingdom of Light, Nagasaki
Located inside the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki, the Kingdom of Light uses something like 13 million lights to create a spectacular display that includes a towering LED waterfall along with sprawling radiant gardens and buildings. Visitors can go on a canal cruise in a neon boat floating over technicolor water or even have the experience of making an illuminated bungee jump!