In Japan winter illuminations are far more than simply holiday decorations and Christmas lights. The underlying idea is not only to create a special atmosphere for welcoming Santa Claus with his full bag of presents, but also to attract visitors to otherwise typically “green season” outdoor destinations such as flower gardens and theme parks. This is why many of the winter illuminations around Japan last for several months, usually starting in mid-November and ending right before the first buds of spring in March. Tokyo is well known for splendid holiday illuminations, particularly in Roppongi, Shinjuku and Shimbashi, but if you step out of the city center and go to one of the nearby parks in wide Kanto area, you will find acres of land entirely covered with glittering lights and amazing decorations. Enter the magical world of Japanese winter illuminations in a short trip outside Tokyo!
1. The sea of light at Seibuen Yuenchi amusement park
One easily accessible spot located just outside of central Tokyo is Seibuen Yuenchi amusement park in Saitama prefecture Tokorozawa city. Less than an hour away from Shinjuku by train, you will find a wonderful world of light, gorgeous decorations and attractions for visitors of all ages. Kids will surely enjoy the fairy space “Maerchen Town” where all the attractions for riding are embraced by the heart-warming lights of the winter illuminations, while parents are most likely to be impressed by the special music and light collaboration near the stairs of the garden stage. Every year, the musical show is presented in collaboration with local and international stars such as Il Divo and Sachiko Kobayashi.
2. Be amazed at the changing colors and flashing lights at Yomiuri Land
In the suburbs of West Tokyo you can find yet another amusement park that attracts visitors in winter with its dazzling illuminations. The popular Yomiuri Land gets decorated with over 4 million lights blinking in the seven rainbow colors that symbolize the reflection of jewel stones. This is why the special decoration at this place is named “Jewel Illumination” and guests can enjoy the winter evenings in the park even without riding any of the attractions.
3. The winner of many illuminations rankings, Ashikaga Flower Park
Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi prefecture turns into a very popular destination in early May, where thousands of visitors come to see the giant wisteria trees that have become a symbol of this place. While it is internationally known as one of the most scenic spots for flower viewing in Japan, Ashikaga Flower Park lives up to everyone’s expectations also in winter thanks to its amazing night-time illuminations. In fact, in 2014 the park won the National Winter Illuminations ranking and became one of the most visited winter destinations in Japan.
4. The dream of Europe is represented in Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest
The winter illuminations at the spacious Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest in Kanagawa prefecture are considered some of the largest in Kanto area. In 2015 the theme of the event is a representation of the world of old England and its popular children character, the Paddington Bear. The meadows and gentle hill slopes are entirely covered with blinking lights, creating a unique atmosphere in the winter.
5. Feel more of the pastoral countryside atmosphere in Tokyo German Village
Although officially named “Country Farm Tokyo German Village”, this spacious park is actually located in the rural area of Chiba prefecture. It consists of a wide countryside farm, a flower garden, a golf course, attraction rides and multiple facilities. In winter however Tokyo German Village’s spacious grounds become decorated with millions of illumination lights producing a stunning effect and amazing panoramic views after sunset.
6. Winter illuminations around Mt Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes
The natural area around Mt Fuji and Fuji Five Lakes attracts with beautiful scenery in all four seasons. In winter the lakes are decorated and lit up by candles and LED lights arranged to produce an impactful artistic vision using Mt Fuji’s ideal conical body as a borrowed landscape. Moreover, there are winter fireworks at Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka every weekend in January and February.
Warm up your heart and soul with the gorgeous winter illuminations in Kanto area!
The charm in going out to see winter illuminations is in the precious moments spent together with the ones close to your heart. The mystical light of the million LED lamps and candles that cover vast fields and all trees produces a unique romantic atmosphere. Visit the destinations listed in this article and warm up your heart in the chilly winter nights.
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