Tochigi Prefecture boasts a long list of spots officially designated as “Night View Inheritances of Japan” where illumination events, shrine and temple light-ups, mini lanterns and more are set up.
This is a list of 4 must-visit locations with illuminations events running until March 2019.
Ashikaga Flower Park – “Garden of Illuminated Flowers)
Ashikaga Flower Park is one of Japan’s three main illumination spots. Its popularity has earned it the No. 1 spot for illuminations for two years in a row. The newly-built Ashikaga Flower Park Station at the park’s west gate makes it easier than ever to access.
The wintry trees are decorated with colourful lights, brightening the beautiful flowers at nighttime. There is also a recreation of the park’s symbolic great wisteria tree made entirely out of lights down to the flowers. It sways with the wind making it look like a real tree.
Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture
Running: October 27, 2018 – February 5, 2019
Closed: December 31, 2018
Ashikagaorihime Shrine at Orihime Park
Another one of Japan’s officially registered Night View Inheritance sites. Orihime Park offers a gorgeous view of the town’s nightscape. The park’s Ashikagaorihime Shrine is lit up making for a magical atmopshere. The shrine itself is famous for its associations with marriage, making it a popular date spot.
Address: 3890-17 Tomoecho, Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture
Open: All Year Round
Shrine Illumination: 5:00pm-midnight
26th Yunishikawaonsen Kamakurasai
Taking place at Yunishigawa Onsen, this event was designated as a Night View Inheritance site in 2009. It sees hundreds of candles lit up across the entire area that create a mysterious atmosphere. It’s also chosen as “one of the must-see places before you die.”
Address: 1042 Yunishigawa, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
Running: January 26, 2019 – March 3, 2019
Candle Lighting: 5:30pm-9:00pm
*Subject to cancellation depending on weather conditions.
Closed: Wednesdays & Thursdays
Okunikko Yumoto Onsen Snow Festival 2019
This event began in a desire make use of the abundant snow and light up nighttime Okunikko. Ice sculptures created by hotel chefs from inside and outside the prefecture will be set up on January 31. In February, around 500 snow lights will be set up at the hot springs, and illuminations will glow against the snowy walls.
Address: Yumoto, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
Running: February 2, 2019 – February 10, 2019
Illumination Time: 5:00pm-9:00pm
Tochigi Prefecture is easily accessible from Tokyo, so if you’re in Japan then take advantage of this season to go and see some enchanting nighttime scenery.
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