Tokai Winter Illuminations

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)

Nabana-no-Sato1 Nabana-no-Sato-Light-Tunnel Nabana-no-Sato-Sakura-Tunne

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)

138-tower-park-galaxy-fanta138-tower-park-galaxy-fan2138-tower-park-galaxy-fant3Kiso Sansen Park

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 Asano

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

Published by Matthew Baxter

Matthew Baxter is a British travel author who has lived in and visited Japan for over a decade. Having traveled across the country, without much money, he has built up an extensive knowledge of budget travel here, and has also worked for many leading tourism companies. He also writes professionally for several websites and publications, such as the GaijinPot, All About and the Japan National Tourist Association.