When I think of winter in Nagoya I think, its not summer in Nagoya, and that alone is enough for me to love it. If you want to get out and enjoy the brisk winter chill, why not take the family out to view “illumination,” which in this context is roughly equivalent to the western tradition of putting up Christmas lights. Visiting an “illumination” is a very popular event for couples, and displays are setup and run from November straight until Valentine’s Day.
Here are some popular places to experience illumination in and around Nagoya.
Nabana no Sato
The best place to see winter illumination is in 10 minutes from Kuwana Station in Mie. Nabana no Sato is the closest thing you will get in Japan to a neighborhood decked out by friendly competition in lights visible from space. There are lights spread out all over the entire amusement park to create a magical place for couples to stroll.
The best way to spend Christmas might be taking in an early Christmas dinner, and then heading out to Mie to see the lights. If you have a special someone, it is the perfect place to walk off your meal, and enjoy each other’s company.
Noritake, is a famous ceramic tableware and technology company headquartered in Nagoya. While the original Nagoya factory is in no longer in operation, there is in its place Noritake Garden, which is home to a museum complex, craft center and restaurant. At 15 minutes walk from Nagoya Station, it offers a convenient option to see illumination. From November 3rd until December 25th (sunset – 9:00 PM) you can enjoy lights, as well as special holiday events at the garden.
Hisayaodori Park Flarie
A very convenient place to see illumination is Hisayaodori Park Flarie, located in between between Sakae and Osu. Illumination at Flarie offers a Christmas tree and 150,000 bulbs throughout the garden will light up Flarie during the Holiday Season 11/19 – 12/25 (5 PM – 10PM).
The garden will also host a series of Christmas concerts beginning 11/27 until December 25th featuring various artists.
The illumination will continue even after the Christmas season, finally wrapping up on 3/20 of the new year.
Star Light Fantasia by NAKED
Building upon the Nagoya Akari Night display of yesteryear, Star Light Fantasia is a special event being held on the observation deck of the city’s iconic TV tower. Presented by NAKED, the brainchild of creative director Ryotaro Kitamura, this event promises to be an experience unlike any other.
Prepared to be dazzled by a revolutionary display of projection mapping against the night sky; the first of its kind in Japan. You’ll feel as though you’re floating among the stars with a 360-degree panoramic view from atop the TV tower.
Tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter on the 3rd floor, or at a nearby convenience store for JPY 1,000 (JPY 500 for children in elementary school or younger).
Times and dates are as follows:
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM (11/26 – 12/31)
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM (1/1 – 2/26)
Star Light Fantasia
Kiso-Sansen & 138 Tower Park, Ichinomiya
Until December 27th, the park around the twin arched “138 Tower” in Ichinomiya will be decorated with 500,000 lights. In the surrounding Kisosansen Koen you can take part in all manner of arts and crafts throughout the month including wreath-making, bread baking and even dressing up as Santa. Fireworks displays will also be held, all on the backdrop of Ichinomiya’s illuminated 138 metre tower.
This year the park will host its festivities from November 26th until December 31st, 4:30 PM (5:30 PM on 11/26) – 9:00 PM, during which visitors will be able to stroll around and enjoy the lights which decorate the park.
Nagoya Port Sea Train Land
Last, but certainly not least, is Very Merry Christmas 2016 at Sea Train Land in Nagoya Port. With around 50,000 lights and a wealth of attractions, from a towering 85 meter high Ferris Wheel to a classic carousel, this winter event is sure to dazzle and entertain visitors of all ages.
Entrance to the park is free, and the event runs from 11/19 – 12/25 from 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM (10
Very Merry Christmas 2016 (Japanese)