Top 20 Hoilday Illumination Sites In Japan for 2016-2017

It is cold but the illuminations in Japan make this holiday season beautiful. I would like to introduce the top 20 most popular illuminations throughout Japan. They are highly recommended spots for dating and family trips. This holiday season is defined by illumination! This article was referred from Rakuten Travel “Christmas · I want to celebrate the New Year! Popular Illumination Ranking 2016-2017”

20th – Nagano – State-owned Alps Azumino Park “Fantastic Forest Pageant – HEAVEN and EARTH”

The 20th most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is the “pageant of the light forest – HEAVEN and EARTH” being held at the Nagano, state-owned Alps Azumino Park. “The pageant of the light forest – HEAVEN and EARTH” will be held simultaneously in the two districts of Horikinju and Hotaka district and Omachi and Matsukawa district.

All four seasons are represented and decorated with lights from 700,000 spheres: In the Horikini and Hotaka district – Spring and Summer, and Omachi and Matsukawa district – Autumn and Winter. During the periods various events such as concerts and exhibitions are also held!


Duration: November 19, 2016 to January 9, 2017
Closed: Monday (next weekday holiday in the case of holiday, open on December 19th and 26th in 2016), January 1, 2017
Lighting time: 16: 00 – 21: 00
Admission: Adult 410 yen · Elementary and middle school student 80 yen · Silver (65 years old and over) 210 yen · Infant free

19th – Hyogo – Kobe Luminarie

The 19th most popular illumination ranking in 2016 – 2017 is “Kobe Luminarie” to be held in Hyogo Prefecture. It is the symbol of Kobe and 2016 is the twenty-first time it is held, showing the winter weather scene in Kobe.

“Kobe Luminarie” was held for the first time in December 1995 to commemorate the victims of the great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake. The intention was to remember the victims and inspire dreams and hopes for revival and revitalization of the city.

Duration: December 2, 2016 (Fri) – December 11, (Sun)
Venue: Old Foreigner Settlement and Dong Yuen Park
Lighting time:
Monday – Thursday around 18:00 – 21:30
Friday around 18:00 to 22:00
Saturday around 17:00 – 22:00
Sunday from around 17:00 to 21:30

18th – Hokkaido – White Lover Park Illumination

The 18th most popular illumination ranking from this season is “White Lovers Park Illumination” that is held at the classic sightseeing spot “White Lovers Park” in Hokkaido. The interior of the garden is glittering due to the illumination of 110,000 balls – it is a masterpiece.

Sapporo Karakuri clock tower lit up high in the garden is fantastic and it looks great even by itself. In addition to the illumination, one can find good photo opportunities such as the places where the main Christmas tree stands along with few reindeer..

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: November 3, 2016 (Thursday, holidays) – 2017 March 20 (Monday, holidays)
Time: 16:30 to 19:30 (after 19:00 the tour from outside the gate) location: White Lover Park Rose Garden

17th – Nabana – No Sato Illumination

Ranked 17th place for this season is the “Illumination of the Bana Village”, held in Mie Prefecture Kuwana.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the most popular illumination in “Nabana no Sato Illumination”is also Japan’s most popular: “Tunnel of light.” The Tunnel of light is the main part of the whole illumination.

But there are plenty of other places of attraction such as water illumination and Christmas tree so check them out as well!

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: October 15, 2016 (Sat) – May 7, 2017 (Sun)
Fee: 2300 yen, gold certificate 1,000 yen – available in Satonai
Lighting time: depends on the dates, check the schedule

16th – Aichi – of 2016 Kariya Highway Oasis Romantic Illumination – Light Oasis

The 16th most popular illumination this season is the Kariya Highway Oasis with Aichi’s gourmet, shopping and amusement, wrapped in light of about 20,600 balls of illumination – “2016 Kariya Highway Oasis Romantic Illumination – Light Oasis.”

Kariya Highway Oasis will add 16,000 more light bulbs compared to last year’s 190,000, which will result in about 206,000 light bulbs total. Besides the objects of light, there are light tunnels on the street and more places to see.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: November 5, 2016 (Sat) to February 19, 2017 (Sun)
Lighting time: 16:30 to 22:00, November 5 (Sat) the lighting schedule at 17:00

15th – Tokyo – Showa Kinen Park Winter Vista Illumination 2016

The 15th most popular illumination this season is “Winter Vista Illumination 2016” that is held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Showa Memorial Park. There is a special illumination at night – National Showa Memorial Park night time special opening.
There are numerous sites like canals, champagne glass tower using about 15,000 glasses, lighting of the large fountain of symbolic existence of the park, and shining illumination of trees and the like.

It is a popular spot for Christmas as fireworks are also held from 23rd to 25th of December.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: December 3 (Sat) to December 25 (Sun) 2016
Time: 17:00 to 21:00 (admission is 2050)

14th – Nagasaki – Huis Ten Bosch “Kingdom of Light

The 14th most popular illumination for this season is the “Kingdom of Light”, held at “Huis Ten Bosch”, the largest theme park in Japan, in Nagasaki Prefecture.

There are nine illumination spots such as “Light Umbrella Street” where light falls down to match music and “Dragon Robot of Light” that spreads as long as 13 meters in length and 6.5 meters in height.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: October 29, 2016 (Sat) to May 7, 2017 (Sun)
Fee: Please check the HP

13th – Osaka – Midosuji Illumination 2016

The 13th most popular illumination this season is Osaka’s “Midosuji Illumination”. It was certified with a world record as “the street that Illuminated the most trees” in FY 2014.
In this fiscal year, they will use the design concept of ‘Symbol Street of Light Gently Enveloping People Who Come to Osaka’, and this year it will be colored with overwhelming lights of about 4 km in length from Umeda to Namba.

Midosuji is divided into 8 areas, decorated with colors tailored to each area, and the story of each city, Kita, Senba and Minami is expressed in various colors.

The side of the roadway decorates the illuminations on the trunk of the Ginkgo biloba that extends to the sky. “Columns of Light” appear and decorate the ginkgo beside the sidewalk with “Illuminations of Stardust”.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: November 20, 2016 (Sun) – January 9, 2017 (Mon)
Cayenne formula: November 20, 2016 (Sun)
Time: 18:00 time to 23:00
Location: Mido area (Hanshin before crossing – Namba Nishiguchi intersection)

12th – Osaka – Hirakata Park “Amusement Park of Light”

The 12th most popular illumination of 2016-2017 season is the illumination event “amusement park of light” which became the annual autumn/winter season of the “Hirakata Park” amusement park in Hirakata City, Osaka.
They are celebrating their third year in 2016 and scaling up the LED to 1.5 million balls, the largest ever.

There are seven “light garden” illuminated areas, including the “Gold Garden” which is imaged as the grassland of glowing light. The synchronization between light and attractions is really well done.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: November 11, 2016 (Fri) to February 26, 2017 (Sun)
December 19 (Monday) to January 5, 2017 (Thursday) It will be held every day
December 2 (Friday) to January 9, 2017 (Mon) 17: 00 – 20:30,
January 13 (Friday) to February 26 (Sunday) 17:30 – 20:00

11th – Tokyo – Minami Aoyama Le Angers Church Christmas illuminations

The 11th most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is a Christmas illumination which will be held in Minami Aoyama Le Angel church in Tokyo. It is a church nestled in a quiet residential area of Minami Aoyama so you can enjoy a peaceful lighting.

Only on the 1st through 19th of December 2016 you can enjoy candle night at the church used as a wedding hall. The chapel with lit candles will be open from 19:00 o’clock and will be turning off electricity in the church all at once at 20:00. If you look at the light of a warm and gentle candle in the chapel, your mind will settle down and you will feel sacred. “Happy Bell” where you can write a wish and decorate a Christmas tree with a bell in the church garden is said to be held from Thursday, 1 December 2016.


Duration: November 3, 2016 (Thursday) – December 25 (Sunday)
Time: 17:00 – 22:00
Closed: Tuesday

10th – Kanagawa – Sagamiko yl Million

The 10th most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is “Sagami Lake Ill Million” held at Kanagawa · Sagami Lake Resort Pleasure Forest. The illuminations with up to 6 million balls in the Kanto region are beautiful, and it is as luxurious as it is possible to call it the best of Kanagawa.

The highlight of this year is “Great Palace of Light – Splash Swan”, which shines in about 1 million balls of light. This masterpiece has the height of about 15m, and is the biggest light and water production space in Japan, over 1,500 square meters. “360 degree illumination show of light and water” using full-color LED which can express colors of more than 16 million. Also fountains spread all together, is splendid.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: October 22, 2016 (Sat) to April 9, 2017 (Sun )
Regular holiday: January: 12/18/19/25/26 February: 1/2/8/9/15/16 March: 2/9/15/16
Hours: 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Last admission is 8:30pm
Lighting time (planned) will vary according to the season.

9th – Gunma – Gunma Flower Park Illumination Festa “Fairies of Paradise”

The 9th most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is the illumination fiesta “paradise of fairies” held at Gunma Flower Park. It is an illumination which has been accredited as one of the best night view sceneries in Japan.

A white gift falls from the sky, the projection mapping and the illumination shine in conjunction with each other. In the park there are six types of light carpets, including flowers and ponds. You feel as though you are standing on a flower.

winter illuminations japan

8th – Osaka – OSAKA Light Renaissance 2016

The 8th most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is “OSAKA Hikari Renaissance 2016” held within the area where Osaka’s “Midosuji Illumination 2016” takes place.
The wall work of the “Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library,” which is a huge modern building with history, acts as a screen, and a special work of “Wall Tapestry” of the 11th work of light. There is no doubt that you will be impressed by the magnificent work full of stories expressed in paintings drawn in light! On weekdays it will be performed 5 times every 30 minutes from 7:00 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays and public holidays it will be scheduled seven times from 6:00 pm.

winter illuminations japan

Opening period: December 14, 2016 – December 25, 2016
Place: Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library
Time: Weekdays 19: 00 – 21: 15 (30 minutes and five times back to the performance), soil day wish 18: 00 – 21: 15 (30 minutes)

7th – Tochigi – Ashikaga Flower Park “Flower Garden Fantasy of Light 2016”

The 7th most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is the “flower garden of light” hosted by Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture. Illumination of the flower park ashika celebrates its 15th year. As Japan’s night view heritage, it is certified as one of the Three Kanto illuminations.

Illuminations exceeding 3.5 million bulbs are decorated in a large 94,000 square meters garden. The scenery which is said to be the largest in East Kanto is breathtakingly beautiful. “Garden of Light Flowers” was recommended as the first place nationwide.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: October 22, 2016 – February 5, 2017
Open time: 15:30 – 21:30
Admission: adults 800 yen / child for 400 yen

6th – Miyagi – 2016 SENDAI Light Pageant

The 6th most popular illumination of the 2016 – 2017 season is the pageant of 2016 SENDAI light in Miyagi, Sendai ‘s winter event which will be held on the 31st this year. In autumn you can see the yellow-tinted zelkova trees, and in winter you can enjoy the zelkova trees wrapped in light with hundreds of thousands of LED bulbs.

On Friday, December 9, 2016, the lighting ceremony will be held in front of Sendai Mediatheque – Green Trail at 17:10 in the evening (lighting is 17:30). The event opens as the zelkova trees flicker to light all at once after a countdown.

winter illuminations japan

Opening period: December 9, 2016 to December 31, 2016
Location: East Second Fan Dingtong – before the public hall
Lighting time: Day Yao – Mu Yao 17: 30 – 22: 00 / Jin Yao Tu Yao December 22 (wood) 17: 30 – 23: 00 / December 31 (soil) 17: 30 – 24: 00

5th – Kyoto – Kyoto Illuminating Yale 2016 “Lights – Heavenly Forest – Hope”

The 5th most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is the first dual auroral show in Japan “Kyoto Irumiere”. It is safe to say that this illumination is the most popular in Kyoto.

What settles the score is Japan’s first “dual aurora show” that takes you to the forest with “full starry sky”! It is wrapped in a fantastic space. It will screen four times everyday during the holding period. You can see the aurora show only at this place.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: October 29, 2016 (Sat) – April 9, 2017 (Sun)
Hours: 16:30 to 21:30 (21:30 reception end)
Venue: Ruri River in the hot springs Potepotepaku

4th – Tokyo – Midtown Christmas 2016

The fourth most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is the Christmas event “Midtown Christmas 2016” which will be celebrating its ten year anniversary this season. Tokyo metropolis Midtown illumination is a winter delight.

Every year, the main illumination “Starlight Garden” expresses outer space with fantastic blue light. This year, we introduce four new search lights that emit straight light from Vision Dome using a full-color LED with a diameter of about 6m to Roppongi about 100m, expressing the big bang, which is the beginning of the universe, dynamically!

winter illuminations japan

3rd – Chiba – Tokyo German Village 2016-2017 Winter Illumination “Great Adventure ★ Doki ★ Doki ★ Smile “

The 3rd most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is the Tokyo German village winter illumination in Chiba Prefecture “Great adventure ★ Doki ★ Doki ★ Smile”. The theme of this year’s illumination is “big adventure”. Using about 2.5 million LEDs and light bulbs, for maximum illumination.

Only during the illumination period, the shuttle bus between Sodegaura station (Bobouzenaurae) and Tokyo German village will be operating. Access is easy so there is no excuse to not pay a visit.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: November 1, 2016 (Tuesday) – March 31, 2017 (Friday)
Hours: 9:30 to 20:00 (last admission is 19:30)
Lighting: Sunset to 20:00
Rate: admission Free
Parking is 2,000 yen
Shuttle bus: November 1, 2016 (Tuesday) – 2017 March 31 (Friday) Sodegaura (Sodegaura) service between the station – Tokyo German Village

2nd – Hyogo – Kobe Illuminator Hivernage

The 2nd most popular illumination in the 2016 – 2017 season is the Kansai representative illumination “Kobe Illuminator Hivernage”. They use more than 4 million LED lights each year. There is no doubt that you will be fascinated by the white night palace, fairy country, Little Red Riding Hood and Mermaid Princess, making you feel as if you were in a fairytale world.

There are a variety of events to visit. Also, the gimmick time tunnel wrapped in light and the live show of light and sound held everyday by the American illumination creative programmer are impressive full marks.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: November 1, 2016 (Tuesday) to February 12, 2017 (Sun)
Time: 17: 00 – 22: 00 (lighting 17:30 to 21:30)
Fee: Adults 1,000 yen
Children 500 yen (elementary school or less)

1st – Tokyo – Ebisu Garden Place Illumination 2016

The 1st most popular illumination of the 2016 – 2017 season is the center venue of Tokyo Ebisu Garden Place. The main venue includes the exhibition of chandeliers made in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of baccarat creation and centers on Christmas illumination. It is “Baccarat ETERNAL LIGHTS – a form of pleasure” who did the exterior and decorated the plaza.

The main event is a baccarat chandelier that will be exhibited at the center square and world’s largest baccarat will appear. Besides that, within the venue of Yebisu Garden Place, you will be lit up with about a hundred thousand spheres of light and the spirit of Christmas will be alive.

winter illuminations japan

Holding period: November 5, 2016 – January 9, 2017
Venue: Yebisu Garden Place Center Square
Light Up Time:
· Baccarat chandelier 12:00 – 24:00
· Christmas Illumination 16:00 – 24:00