If you’ve ever been to Japan during the holiday season, you probably noticed the massive amounts of illumination spreading all over the cities. In fact, there are approximately 500 different illumination spots in Japan! Walker Plus visited each spot and created an “Illumination Guide 2015-2016” as a Christmas special. You can search by location, dates, photos, or popularity rankings!

Today, I’ll be introducing the Top 10 illumination spots in Japan this holiday season!


10. Mannou Park Winter Fantasy

This is Shikoku’s largest illumination event using 550,000 light bulbs. The Grand Illumination lighting up 25,000 square meters, along with a 10-meter high symbol tree are absolutely stunning! Check out their artificial waterfall and illumination tunnel as well.

Location: Kokuei Sanuki Mannou Kouen
Address: Kagawa, Nakatado-gun, Mannou-cho, Yoshino 4243-12
Dates: 2015.11.21 – 2016.01.03 (Closed on Tuesdays and 12.29 – 12.31)


09. Marunouchi Illumination 2015

The 200 trees lining Marunouchi Naka-doori between Yurakucho and Otemachi are brightly lit up in champagne gold! The city uses “Eco Illumination” to conserve electricity and protect the environment.

Location: Marunouchi Naka-doori Area
Address: Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-chome ~ 3-chome, Yurakucho 1-chome
Dates: 2015.11.12 – 2016.02.14


08. “The Brightest Ever!” Winter Laguna

The ocean-themed park LAGUNASIA has powered up with new illumination spots. The event will feature a car action mapping, which is a first for Japan. Visitors can also enjoy other various mapping shows and illumination spots such as the “Rainbow Arch of Happiness.”

Location: LAGUNA TEN BOSCH LAGUNASIA
Address: Aichi, Gamagori-shi, Kaiyo-cho 2-3
Dates: 2015.11.03 – 2016.02.29


07. WINTER VISTA ILLUMINATION 2015

This year, the Showa Kinen Park is holding an illumination festival with the theme of “Renaissance.” On December 24 and 25, the park will hold a fireworks show.

Location: Kokuei Showa Kinen Kouen
Address: Tokyo, Tachikawa-shi, Midori-cho 3173
Dates: 2015.12.05 – 2015.12.27


06. Abeno・Tennoji Illuminage

This “Illuminage” celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Tennoji Zoo! To commemorate the upcoming 101st year, there will be 101 illuminations designed as animals. Illuminations of Sanada Nobushige and Sanada Yujushi, who played large roles in the Siege of Osaka, will appear once again as well.

Location: Tennoji Kouen
Address: Osaka, Osaka-shi, Tennoji-ku, Chausuyama-cho 1-108
Dates: 2015.10.30 – 2016.01.31


05. Midtown Christmas 2015

This is the 9th year that Tokyo Midtown holds an illumination show. The biggest highlight is the Skylight Garden 2015, lit by 180,000 lights creating a blue atmosphere. The city will utilize a new illumination system “MAKI” to create a fabulous outer space feeling.

Location: Tokyo Midtown
Address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Akasaka 9-chome 7-1
Dates: 2015.11.12 – 2015.12.25


04. Winter Illumination 2015 – 2016 “Toy Box ~kira★kira★Smile~”

Tokyo German Village will be holding its 10th annual winter illumination. They will produce this year’s theme of a “toy box” through the use of 2,500,000 lights! The lights-and-music show is a popular event every year and will be sure to excite visitors this year as well.

Location: Tokyo Doitsu Mura
Address: Chiba, Sodegaura-shi, Nagayoshi 419
Dates: 2015.11.07 – 2016.03.31


 03. Christmas Market in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

I mentioned this event in a previous article as well. This event is known for its German-feel, following from the fact that the warehouse takes in architectural styles of Germany, and that Yokohama is partner cities with Frankfurt. This German-styled Christmas Market will feature illuminated streets and a 10-meter high Christmas tree.

Location: Yokohama Akarenga Souko
Address: Kanagawa, Yokohama-shi, Naka-ku, Shinminato 1-1
Dates: 2015.11.28 – 2015.12.25


 02. Caretta Illumination 2015 “Canyon d’Azur ~A Blue Star’s Valley~”

Visitors of this event can surround themselves in a beautiful and mysterious blue, created by 270,000 LED lights. It will feel as if you’re walking on the milky way. You can also enjoy an illumination show everyday until 10:00 P.M.

Location: Caretta Shiodome B2 Caretta Plaza
Address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Higashi Shinbashi 1-8-2
Dates: 2015.11.19 – 2016.02.14 (Closed on 01.01, 01.02)


 01. Baccarat ETERNAL LIGHTS -The Shape of Joy-

Enjoy a gorgeous illumination event at Ebisu Garden Place. A large-scale chandelier will appear once again in celebration of Baccarat’s 250th anniversary! The Christmas tree designed with a France theme will surely bring glamour to the showcase.

Location: Ebisu Garden Place
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Ebisu 4-20
Dates: 2015.11.07 – 2016.01.11


How did you enjoy these Top 10 locations? Are there any you may be interested in visiting?

To close off the article, here are the top illumination spots of Kyushu and Hokkaido that may have not ranked in the Top 10 overall, but are still absolutely stunning!


The 35th Sapporo White Illumination

Sapporo White Illumination features illumination designs and objects that replicate the image of nature. This year, the illumination area has expanded all the way to 5-chome!

Location: Oodori Nishi 1-chome ~ 5-chome
Address: Hokkaido, Sapporo-shi, Chuo-ku
Dates: 2015.11.20 – 2015.12.25


Saishunkan Seiyakusho 22nd “Thanks” Illumination 2015

This will be the last year Saishunkan will be holding their illumination event. With a unique “drive-thru” style, this illumination spot has welcomed 1,000,000 visitors in the past years! Each of the illumination designs are created by hand by the workers of Saishunkan. 

Location: Saishunkan Hilltop
Address: Kumamoto, Kamimashiki-gun, Mashiki-machi, Jichu 1363-1
Dates: 2015.11.17 – 2015.12.25 (Closed on Sundays)


Source: Walker Plus Illumination Guide 2015-2016


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