Japan is a country known for unique traditions, fantastic food and marvelous nature, but there are many other aspects of Japan that are often left out. One of them is the fantastic illuminations that can be appreciated across the country. Some of the illuminations are regular ones, while others only occur during festive seasons. Here are 5 fantastic illuminations in Japan that you definitely have to check-out!
1. Kingdom of Lights at Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo, Nagasaki
The Kingdom of Lights is held in Huis Ten Bosch – a theme park which follows a Dutch theme located in Nagasaki prefecture. The illumination has the biggest scale in the world, with a total of 13 million light bulbs used for the latest one.
In 2013, the illumination incorporated the Projection Mapping technique at 4 sites, where the illumination performances were combined together with digital images projected upon them. The latest edition of the illumination will also have the Projection Mapping, and the 110 meters (360 foot) long palace in the theme park will transform into a grandeur screen. Furthermore, there are other must-sees during the illumination such as a 30 meter (98.4 foot) tall shining tree, as well as an illuminated waterfall that creates a sea of blue.
The latest Kingdom of Lights will be held until 6 May 2018, so do check it out!
Huis Ten Bosch
Address: 1-1 Huis Ten Bosch, Sasebo, Nagasaki
Opening Hours: 9am - 10pm (changes according to season, please refer to official website for more information)
Access: 5 minute walk from Huis Ten Bosch Station
Website: Huis Ten Bosch
2. Light of Versailles at Tokinosumika in Gotenba, Shizuoka
Tokinosumika is a small town located in Shizuoka prefecture and it is most well-known for the spectacular illumination – the Light of Versailles - held there. More than 1.2 million people have visited this wonderful display of lights.
The Light of Versailles is an illumination that incorporates colorful lasers with a huge water fountain – the spectacular fountain can reach heights of up to 70 meters (230 feet)! The fountains dance along with the beautiful lights, and together with sound effects and 3-dimensional images projected on the water screen, this illumination is a performance that cannot be experienced elsewhere!
The Light of Versailles costs 1,000 JPY (9 USD) for adults and 200 JPY (2 USD) for children (below secondary school).
The latest version of the Light of Versailles is being held until 21 March 2018.
Address: Koyama, Gotenba, Shizuoka
Access: 15 minute drive from Gotenba Station
3. The illumination at Nabana no Sato - Nagashima Resort in Kuwana, Mie
Nagashima Resort is a resort located in Mie prefecture where one can spend more than a day. Nagashima Resort has a fantastic amusement park, many great restaurants, a huge swimming area (in summer), a shopping mall, and a marvelous flower garden called Nabana no Sato.
The illumination there changes theme every year, and this year’s theme is “Kumamoto da mon!”. The performance stars Kumamon – the Yurukyara of the Kumamoto prefecture (Yurukyara refers to mascots that represent towns and prefectures in Japan). Various sceneries and performances that showcase Kumamoto’s spectacular array of nature and culture will be showcased during the illumination.
The latest illumination will be held until 6 May 2018, so do check it out!
Address: 333 Nagashimacho Urayasu, Kuwana, Mie
Opening Hours: Depends on season: please refer to official website below
Access: 1 hour bus ride from Nagoya Station
Website: Nagashima Resort
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4. Sagamiko Illuminion at Sagamiko Resort in Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest is a theme park located in Kanagawa with multiple facilities that are bound to keep you excited for the whole day. In Sagamiko Resort, there are amusement parks, barbecue spots, hot springs and huge athletic areas that include activities like tight rope walking.
The Sagamiko Illumination is held at various areas within the resort and is a large scale one that features a total of 6 million light bulbs. Each area will be lit up with a different hue, creating a harmony of colors through the entire resort. A jubilant and romantic atmosphere will fill the resort, perfect for a great trip together with your family or your special one.
The latest illumination is being held until 8 April 2018.
Address: 1634 Wakayanagi, Midori, Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Opening Hours: Depends on season: please refer to the calendar here
Access: 8 minute bus ride from JR Sagamiko Station
Find more images: Instagram
5. Kobe Illuminage in Kobe Fruit & Flower Park in Kobe, Hyogo
Kobe Fruit & Flower Park is not exactly a theme park by itself, but it is actually a roadside station located in Hyogo prefecture. This roadside station however is like no other, and apart from serving the basic functions as one, Kobe Fruit & Flower Park also has natural hot springs, barbecue areas, swimming pools and other attractions like mini-golf courses and amusement parks. As its name suggests, there are also flower and fruit gardens, and fresh fruits can be picked and enjoyed from August to November.
The Kobe Illuminage is an illumination that incorporates various techniques such as Projection Mapping, and the entire area will be beautifully lit, creating a romantic and soothing atmosphere. Perfect for photo taking and also as a date spot, this illumination is certainly worth visiting!
The latest illumination was held until 12 February 2018.
Kobe Fruit & Flower Park
Address: 2150 Kamiozo, Ozocho, Kita, Kobe, Hyogo
Opening Hours: Depends on season: please refer to this page with Google translate
Access: 15 minute drive from Shintetsu Okaba Station
More images: Instagram
Perfect for your special day!
Illumination events present unique opportunities for photographers to take original shots. At the same time, they also set-up the perfect romantic atmosphere to spend time with your special person. Do consider visiting these illuminations when planning your trip to Japan!
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