Illumination, light show, light up, holiday lights, whatever you want to call it, this Japanese tradition adds a little warmth to chilly winter nights all across the country! The sun is setting earlier, and nights are getting cooler, and in Japan that means one thing for sure: it’s time for “illumination” events! From Japan’s unique Halloween through Valentine’s Day, nights are lit up with unique holiday light displays, attracting couples looking for romance, friends looking to snap a few insta-bae pictures, and kids marveling at the glittering exhibitions.
While illuminations are popular in Japan every year, they’re sure to be especially popular in 2020 (and 2021) and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, due to their outdoor nature. So slap on a mask and head outside to enjoy some bracing night air in and around Tokyo, and some sparkling illumination displays!
Since Yomiuriland’s Hana-Biyori botanical garden opened in spring this year, it has quickly become a popular place to spend time outside and take pretty pictures among the ample flowers and trees, not far from central Tokyo. Of course, while winter might mean fewer bright flowers blooming, it also means the start of a special light-up event in the garden, Hana Akari, with bamboo lanterns lighting the romantic paths.
Hana Akari ～ Take Akari ga Tomosu Hana Biyori no Yoru ～
Venue: Hana-Biyori, Yomiuriland, 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo
Date: October 31, 2020 ~ February 28, 2021
(Only on weekends for most of 2021.)
Time: 16:00 ~
Official Website (jp)
Yomiuriland’s illumination event doesn’t stop at the borders of the Hana-Biyori botanical garden! In fact, this amusement park has been holding its popular light display for years, with 12 different zones and quite literally millions of lights.
It’s pretty up close, and the view of Tokyo from afar is pretty gorgeous too!
▶ Take a look at what Jewellumination looked like in 2018.
This 400-meter chunk of Tokyo is brightly lit with simply, snowy lights―700,000 of them to be exact!
▶ Get a better look at the event back in 2015!
Roppongi Hills Christmas 2020
Venue: Roppongi Hills, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo
Date: November 13 ~ December 25, 2020
Time: 17:00 – 23:00
Official Website (jp)
This annual event brights warmth to the Marunouchi area, right outside Tokyo Station, and adds a bit of sparkle to an already high-end shopping area. More than a million champagne-colored lights, special eco-friendly low-energy lights, glitter in the trees lining the street.
Ranked in the top three Japanese illumination events, Ashikaga Flower Park is a whole park, brought to life with over 5 million lights every night.
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Flower Garden of Lights
Venue: Ashikaga Flower Park, 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi
Date: October 17, 2020 ~ February 7, 2021
Time: 16:30 – 20:30 (Weekends ~21:00)
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