The Tokai area of Japan, which is a sub-region of the Chubu area, and includes Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu and Mie Prefectures, is a famous spot for winter illuminations. The winter illuminations seem to get bigger and more elaborate every year and are a great way to celebrate the Christmas period in Japan. Here are some of my favourites:
Nabana no Sato
Nabana no Sato (なばなの里) located in Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture has one of Japan’s best winter illuminations. The park is covered in more than 8 million LED lights with the highlight always being the famous light tunnel. This year’s theme is “Nature” and the park celebrates this with a giant illuminated model of Mount Fuji, which recently became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Address: 270 Komae, Nagashima-cho, Kuwana-shi, Mie-ken, 511-1144
When: October 25th, 2013 to March 31st, 2014
Admission: ¥2000 (includes ¥1000 worth of coupons to be used within the park)
138 Tower Park
138 Tower Park (138タワーパーク) located in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture features a spectacular 138 meter high observation tower with dual arches. The park is decorated every winter with around 500,000 lights creating a magnificent winter illumination. This year’s theme is “Galaxy Fantasy” with the illuminations set up to look like a galaxy of stars when viewed from above at the tower.
Address: 21-3 Oaza Urazaki, Komyoji, Ichinomiya-shi, Aichi-ken 491-0135
When: Mid November to Late December 2013
Admission: FREE to the park (¥500 for the tower)
Kiso Sansen Park (木曽三川公園) located in Kaizu City, Gifu Prefecture is the largest urban city park in Japan. Every winter they put on a spectacular winter illumination featuring 500,000 lights that electrify the park.
Address: 255-3 Aburajima, Kaizu-cho, Kaizu-shi, Gifu-ken 503-0625
When: Early to Late December 2013
Admission: FREE to the park (¥600 for the tower)
John is a blogger, web developer and freelance writer living in Gifu, Japan. Originally from Melbourne Australia, he writes for Japan Australia, a blog dedicated to Japan travel, culture and modern life, as well as Japan Travel Advice, a website dedicated to travel in Japan. You can read more of his work at http://japan-australia.blogspot.jp/