Japan Christmas Lighting Extravaganza

For travelers visiting Japan this Christmas, a couple of design websites have compiled some must see lighting decoration sites. According to a Philips Lighting blog entry, while Japanese do not celebrate Christmas they are quite keen on creating a festive atmosphere with lights. Design website Spoon and Tamago gives a comprehensive guide to some must see locations in Japan:

Sapporo, Hokkaido

On top of the design website list is northern city Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture in Japan. Sapporo was the first Japanese city to introduce illumination in 1981. The first lighting project in Oodori Park consisted of 1,048 bulbs, but has grown significantly since. The city’s “white illumination” project this year at the same park now features 420,000 lights that form a “crystal river” of lights. According to Spoon and Tamago, the entire show is powered by the lights self-generated biodiesel energy.

Sapparo Christmas lights. (Photo Courtesy of xmas.yahoo.co.jp)

Ashikage Flower Park, Tochigi 

Tochigi’s Ashikaga Flower Park is transformed into a luminous floral garden every winter. The park recreates some of its most famous attractions using 2.1 million LED lights, including its popular wisteria tree. 

 Ashikage Flower Park Christmas lightings. (Photo Courtesy of xmas.yahoo.co.jp)


There are two locations in Tokyo that should not be missed this winter. The first is a shopping or business complex, Tokyo Midtown, which has continued its annual tradition of putting on impressive lighting displays. The 2,000 square meter public yard has become a Starlight Garden lit up by 280,000 LED lights. Tokyo Midtown even claimed it has installed cutting edge technology “cross-over illumination” to create illuminated arches this year.

 Tokyo Midtown's Star Light Garden Display. (Photo Courtesy of Tokyo Midtown)

Another site not to be missed is KITTE, a new shopping complex right next to Tokyo Station. The shopping complex is displaying a Christmas tree designed by Makoto Tanijiri. With the aid of special ceiling installations and the play of light, the tree creates the illusion of snow falling silently indoors. 

Sagamiko Illumillio, Kanagawa 

Not to be outdone, Japan’s southern prefecture Kanagawa’s lighting show, Sagamike Illumillo has installed some 4 million bulbs in the Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest. In its fifth year, Sagamike Illumillo is one of Kanto region’s largest light show. 

 Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest's lighting show Sagamike Illumillo displays. (Photo Courtesy of LaLaCreer)

The Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination, Mie

But its southern Mie prefecture this year that has the largest display of lights. The Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination event will be installed with 7 million LED bulbs, with the main attraction being the light tunnel. There are also many other beautiful luminous lighting scenarios that resemble twin trees and Mt. Fuji. 

The Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination lighting displays in Mie Prefecture, Japan. (Photo Courtesy of xmas.yahoo.co.jp)
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