Glittering Light Festivals! 6 Must-See Winter Illuminations in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe 2017-2018
1. Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2017｜Osaka
Video from the official site©Festival of the Lights in Osaka executive committee
The 2017 Festival of the Lights in Osaka is a large-scale illumination event. Various organizations that conduct regional activities get together and organize performances in several parts of the city. The two core programs of the event are the Osaka Hikari-Renaissance and the Mido-suji Illumination.
From the event's official website you can download a pdf guide in English and even a dedicated app. They also sell a time-limited pass to better enjoy the illuminations and offer visitors full support.
Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2016
Osaka City Central Public Hall (2016)
France Avenue (2016)
Osaka City Hall (2016)
Smile Art Project Hikari no Mi (2016)
In 2017 there will be an art display
A VR experience event will also be held on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Christmas day
Light creations made by illumination designers and contemporary artists will be displayed in various places. There will be so many events that we can't fit them all in this article, but let's see a few of the most popular ones.
■Osaka Hikari-Renaissance 2017
A stunningly beautiful projection mapping performance on the Osaka City Central Public Hall
Osaka City Central Public Hall projection mapping
A view of Nakanoshima street
Osaka Hikari-Renaissance will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year. The event will start on November 12th and will focus on art works made with light. The two highlights of the event are the Osaka City Central Public Hall projection mapping and the Nakanoshima street illumination.
Going on at the same time inside the venue grounds is also Osaka Hikari Marche. Here you'll be able to try all kinds of local food while enjoying the illuminations. On the English site you'll find the convenient 'OSAKA Hikari Marche Ticket'. It's a stack of four coupons that you can use at the event.
Also, don't miss the astonishing view of 1,000 Taiwan-made colorful lanterns!
InformationOsaka Hikari-Renaissance 2017
Venue: around the Osaka City Hall, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Dates: December 14, 2017 - December 25, 2017
Hours: 5:00pm - 10:00pm (4:00pm - 10:00pm for some areas)
*Preview illuminations (only for certain areas): November 12, 2017 - December 13, 2017. Hours: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Admission fee: free
Access: less than 1 min. walk from Yodoyabashi Station, Kitahama Station and Naniwabashi Station on the Kaihan Railway
■Mido-suji Illumination 2017
A dazzling 4km long illuminated road with different sceneries for each area
Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2017 opening ceremony
White scenery from Chuo-Odori to Bakuromachi
Purple scenery at Mido-suji in the Namba district
'Japan gold mix' illumination from Kawaramachi to Chuo-Odori
One of the most popular and important streets in Osaka, Mido-Suji will shine and glisten with different colors for every area. The illumination will be 4km long connecting Umeda to Namba.
InformationMido-suji Illumination 2017
Venue: Mido-suji, Kita Ward and Chuo Ward, Osaka-shi (from Hanshin-mae crossing to Namba Nishi-guchi crossing)
Dates: November 12, 2017 - December 31, 2017
Hours: around 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Access: less than 1 min. walk from the following stations.
- Osaka Station, Kitashinchi Station, Namba Station on the JR Lines.
- Umeda Station on the Hankyu Railway and Hanshin Railway
- Nishi-Umeda Station, Higashi-Umeda Station, Hommachi Station and Shinsaibashi Station on the Osaka Municipal Subway
- Yodoyabashi Station on the Keihan Railway and the Osaka Municipal Subway
- Oebashi Station on the Keihan Railway
- Osaka Namba Station on the Kintetsu Namba Line and Hanshin Namba Line
- Namba subway station, Nankai Namba Station
2. Illumi-Night Bampaku X'mas 2017｜Osaka
An impressive 3D projection mapping show on the 'Tower of the Sun'
Illumi-Night Bampaku is held every year at the Expo Commemorative Park. The event features a 3D projection mapping show on Tower of the Sun, a sculpture created by Japanese artist Taro Okamoto.
After enjoying this popular event you can warm up with a hot bowl of ramen at Ramen Expo, which is also held here every year in the same period.
'Tree of Life' projection on the Tower of the Sun
Cute snowmen made of lights
InformationIllumi-Night Bampaku X'mas 2017
Address: Expo Commemorative Park, 1-1 Senri EXPO Park, Suita City, Osaka
Dates: December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 22-25 (2017)
Times: 5:00pm - 9:00pm (entry to the park is allowed until 8:30)
Admission fee: 250 yen
Access: 5 min. walk from Banpaku-Kinen-Koen Station on the Osaka Monorail
Osaka Area Map
3. Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro 2017｜Kyoto
Feel the beginning of winter in Kyoto through elegant Japanese-style illuminations
Illumination of the Togetsukyo Bridge
Arashiyama Hanatouro is an illumination show that takes advantage of the landscape of the Saga and Arashiyama regions. These beautiful sceneries overflow with Japanese spirit.
During the event the Saga-Arashiyama walking path will be lit by countless LED lanterns. Various temples and shrines, the bamboo forest path and Arashiyama's famous Togetsukyo bridge will also be lit. In addition, visitors will be able to enjoy a display of flower arrangements by ikebana artists.
Bamboo forest path
Light and flower path
Ikebana promenade (first period exhibition)
Ikebana promenade (second period exhibition)
Photos courtesy of the Kyoto Hanatouro Promotion Council
InformationKyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro 2017
Venue: Sagano Walk and surrounding temples and shrines, Saga and Arashiyama area, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Dates: December 8, 2017 - December 17, 2017 (rain or shine)
Hours: 5:00pm - 8:30pm
Access: less than 1 min. walk from Saga-Arashiyama Station on the JR lines; less than 1 min. walk from Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Railway and Keifuku Electric Railroad
4. Kobe Luminarie | Kobe
Majestic and breathtaking illuminations
Kobe Luminarie is a staple of Kobe's winter and a popular tourist attraction here in Hyogo Prefecture. In 2017 the event will make its magnificent appearance with the theme 'Guardando futuro' (a gaze into the future).
Huge light pillars connected to a light wall will be installed in Nakamachi-dori street, Kobe Luminarie's main spot. At the end of the walls will be a beautiful arched entrance (frontone) and a brilliant covered walkway (galleria). In addition, big exhibitions will be held at Higashi Yuenchi Park at the end of Nakamachi-dori.
This year's exhibition will celebrate the 150th anniversary of both Kobe Port and the Hyogo Prefectural Government. In order to avoid congestion due to the large number of visitors, the whole area is a one-way route. It goes to Motomachi Station and comes back to Higashi Yuenchi Park near Sannomiya Station. For more access information be sure to check the official site or follow the directions on the spot.
InformationKobe Luminarie 2017
Address: 6 Kanocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture (open map)
Dates: December 8, 2017 - December 17, 2017
Hours: Mon. - Thu 6:00pm - 9:30pm / Friday 6:00pm - 10:00pm / Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm - Sunday 5:00pm - 9:30pm
Admission fee: free
There is a suggested fee of 100 yen (optional) to help keep the event running every year
Access: less than 1 min. walk from Motomachi Station on the JR line and Hanshin Electric Railway (time may change due to congestion)
Website (Japanese-only): http://kobe-luminarie.jp/index.html
Enjoy the Winter Illuminations in Japan
We hope you liked our 6 best picks for illumination events in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe!
These time-limited, unique sceneries are all worth a visit. If you get the chance, definitely check them out for some unforgettable winter memories.
*This article is based on a coverage made in October 2017.
*Dates, times and other information are subject to change. Please check the official sites before your visit.
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 12 01,2017 Author：DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team