4 Best Evening Illumination Spots in Tochigi Prefecture

19.December.2018 | SPOT

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

TEL: 0284-91-4939

Website: http://www.ashikaga.co.jp/

 

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

TEL: 0284-22-0313

Website: http://orihimejinjya.com/

 

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

TEL: 0288-22-1525

Website: https://www.tochigiji.or.jp/event/1064/

 

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

TEL: 0288-62-2570

Website: http://www.nikkoyumoto.com/

 

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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  • “Blue Grotto SHIBUYA”, is the collaboration of fantastic illumination and beautiful tones at the Shibuya Koen dori

    02.December.2018 | SPOT

    “Blue Grotto SHIBUYA” (Ao No Dokutsu) runs from Koendori street to Yoyogi Koen Keyaki Namiki street from November 30th(Fri) to December 31st(Mon).

    Sound has been added to this year’s light show performance, which was very popular last year. The sound of ringing bells accompanies the light show and makes you feel winter has come. Everyone can enjoy this illumination show with both their eyes and ears.

    Ao no Dokutsu bolognaise  ¥460(tax included)

    Blue Champagne

    「Ao no Dokutsu Blue Parks」opens the same as last year, offering Nisshin Foods「Ao no Dokutsu bolognaise, blue champagne and hot blue lemonade inspired by the blue grotto.

    There is a BLUE CUBE from the commercial of 「Ao no Dokutsu」as a photo spot. The

    exterior is very sophisticated, and the inside is a completely different style from the outside with surfaces mirrored in blue decoration, creating a fantastic illusion. During the Christmas season, the illumination is linked with the sound of piano.

    Everyone can enjoy this collaboration of light and sound「Ao no Dokutsu SHIBUYA」with family and friends!

  • Best Tokyo Illuminations: December 2018 to February 2019

    01.December.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Every year during Japanese wintertime the streets are lit up with big, bright and beautiful illuminations. They are of course held all the way up to Christmas but can be enjoyed all the way into February. Here’s our list of must-see Tokyo illuminations this year.

     

    Keyakizaka Illuminations (Running until December 25)

    Around 700,000 LED lights will decorate the trees of Keyakizaka street, bringing to light that charming feeling of Tokyo wintertime. This marks the 15th year of the street’s illuminations, and this year’s theme is “LIVE veil.” Passersby will be greeted with the glow of crisp blue and snow white LED lights. The bridge located in the centre of Keyakizaka street will make for a great photo with Tokyo Tower in the background. These are the perfect illuminations to visit if you’re sightseeing in Tokyo!

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/128726

     

    ■Information

    Roppongi Hills Christmas 2018
    Location: Roppongi Hills (Roppongi Keyakizaka-dori, 66 Plaza, West Walk, Roppongi Hills Arena, Oyane Plaza, and elsewhere)

    Website: http://www.roppongihills.com/

     

    Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018 (November 8 – December 25)

    The Marunouchi area is currently hosing an event titled Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018 in collaboration with famous Japanese singer Yuming who is celebrating her 46th anniversary this year since her debut. A Christmas tree called the “Knit Tree” made in collaboration with the singer is currently on display at the Marcube on the first floor of the Marunouchi building, the main vneue for this event. The tree is decorated with dazzling illuminations as Yuming’s songs provide the soundtrack to the room.

     

    ■Information

    Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018

    Running: November 8, 2018 – December 25, 2018

    Locations: Marunouchi Building, Shin-Marunouchi Building, Nijubashi Square, Marunouchi Brick Square, Marunouchi Oazo, and elsewhere

    Website: https://www.marunouchi.com/event/detail/14018/

     

     

    Illumination Island Odaiba 2018 (November 16 – December 25)

    Ten facilities in the Odaiba area including the shopping mall, hotels and transportation facilities are joining in with Illumination Island Odaiba 2018. Daiba Memorial Tree boasts as the biggest live tree in the city standing almost 20 meters high and 10 meters wide. The branches, which stretch an enormous 200 meters, are wrapped with 220,000 light, creating a captivating scene.

     

    ■Information

    Illumination Island Odaiba 2018

    Running: November 16, 2018 – December 25, 2018

    Participating Facilities: 10

    Website: https://rurubu.jp/redirect/article/4683/

    ©Sotsu・Sunrise Inc.

     

    Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018 (November 9 – January 6)

    Meguro River is famous for its cherry trees which line stretch 4km along the waters and bring beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. This winter, Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018 (‘Meguro River: Illuminations for Everyone’) is seeing the path along the river decorated with lights which will reflect off the water’s surface. The Fuyu no Sakura® (‘Winter Cherry Blossoms’) flower viewing spot which was a huge hit last year has made an appearance again this year. People are enjoying the ‘winter cherry blossoms’ーthe pink illuminationsーfrom the comfort of one of the three garden igloos which all have different interiors. Sitting in one of these means you don’t have to worry about wind, rain or cold weather.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/137108

     

    ■Information

    Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018

    Locations: Meguro River / Gotanda Fureai Waterside Square (2-9 Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa, Tokyo)

    Illumination Period: November 9, 2018 – January 6, 2019

    Illumination Time: 17:00-22:00 (Will go ahead during rain)

    *Closed during storms. Additionally, illumination time will begin at 17:30 on November 9 only.

    Entry: Free

    Access: 6-minutes on foot from Osaki Station and Gotanda Station via JR Lines

    TEL: 03-5330-7675

    Official Website: http://www.minna-no-illumi.com/

     

    Shinjuku Minamilumi Illuminations (November 14 – February 14)

    The Shinjuku Minamilumi illuminations have made their sixth return to the south exit of Shinjuku Station again this year. “Minamilumi” is a portmanteau of minami no illumination (‘south illuminations’) and minna de miru illumination (‘illuminations to watch with everyone’). Each pedestrian area around the south exit is currently adorned with many different illuminations. Each location is within walking distance from the other, so you can spend a nice relaxing time strolling and seeing the different lights that will welcoming this year’s winter.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/125425

     

    ■Information

    Shinjuku Minamilumi Illuminations

    Areas: Shinjuku Southern Terrace / Takashiyama Times Square / Shinjuku Maynds Tower / JR South Shinjuku Bldg. / JR Shinjuku Miraina Tower / Suica’s Penguin Park

    Closest Stations: Shinjuku Station (JR Line, Odakyu Line, Keio Line, Toei Shinjuku Line, Oedo Line) / Shinjuku-Sanchome Station (Fukutoshin Line)

    Running: November 14, 2018 – January 14, 2019

    Illumination Times: 5:00pm-12:00am

    *4:30pm-12:00am in December.

    *Illumination areas, content and details subject to change.

     

    Omohara Beer Forest Illuminations (November 15 – February 28)

    The Omohara Beer Forest―located on the sixth floor rooftop of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku―is currently hosting an illumination event. The illuminations have brought a mix of natural light and gentle fairy lights to central Harajuku. 16,000 illuminations bask the surrounding space and trees with warm light. A space surrounded by trees will give rise to 16,000 illuminations with warm light. Opening hours have been extended to 11:00pm from the usual 9:00pm for the Christmas and New Year periods. A perfect place to stop by after work or shopping.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/135593

     

    ■Information

    Omohara Illuminations

    Running: November 15, 2018 – February 28, 2019

    Location: Omohara Beer Forest (Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku 6F Rooftop, 4-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)

    Time: 17:00-23:00 (Last Entries 22:30 – subject to changes during New Year’s Holiday)

    Website: https://omohara.tokyu-plaza.com/

     

    Illuminations are a big part of Japan’s winter culture, so take your friends and loved ones this year.

  • Enjoy Winter Illuminations at Gunma Flower Park

    23.November.2018 | SPOT

    Yousei-tachi no Gakuen (‘Academy of Faries’) is an illumination festival at Gunma Flower Park currently running until January 14, 2019. A large firework display is set for November 24 where 3,650 fireworks will be launched into the sky.

    Gunma Flower Park ranked in 10th place in Japan’s 6th National Illumination Awards.

    The park has been decorated with 1 million round lights for the event. Projection mapping is also being used and laser shows are taking place, all themed on fairies.  Attendees are invited to board the locomotive to ride around the illuminated park with a guide on board.

    The colour red flows through the greenhouse which has been potted with poinsettias, cyclamens and Christmas roses. There is also a large fir tree to complete the Christmas garden decked out with ornaments and gorgeous lights.

    The shops and restaurant are also serving up a range of items and food for the event, making it the perfect place to visit with that special someone to make some wintertime memories.

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  • Watch the Stars and Snow Glow at the Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up in Karuizawa

    20.November.2019 | SPOT

    Throughout the year, Japanese people escape their busy city life to Karuizawa: a popular resort town hidden in the mountains near Nagano. From December 21, 2019 – February 15, 2020, Shiraito Falls located in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park, Karuizawa will be holding the Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up, providing the perfect excuse for a soothing getaway.

    The 3-metre-tall and 70-metre-wide Shiraito Falls does not freeze below freezing temperature as the water flows from a subterranean river of Mount Asama. The winter lighting will make the water glisten and the falling snow and starry night sky glow with the charm of winter. 

    This light up event is a follow up from last year’s illumination event. The Midwinter Light Up aims to make Shiraito Falls a beautiful tourist spot which can be enjoyed even on a winter night.

    The Midwinter Light Up is one step ahead of the summer light up event which previously took place. To emphasise the beauty of nature, the illumination this time round will allows visitors to appreciate the starry night sky on a fine day and reveal the stunning natural scenery which is not visible during the daytime. 

     

    As the Shiraito Falls light up event will take place in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park, the event contents were created strictly abiding the guidelines and regulations from the Ministry of the Environment​. The quantity of light produced, its hues and even the way it is produced has been carefully considered, creating a light display that does not disrupt the natural environment. 

     

    This breathtaking light display will give you an entirely new perspective on the breathtaking winter scenery of Shiraito Falls and would be the perfect experience to share with your family or friends. 

  • Meguro River Winter Sakura to be Illuminated Using 100% Recycled Oil Until January

    29.October.2019 | SPOT

    This winter, MINNA no ILLUMI Executive Committee will be decorating Meguro River with an unmissable illumination display that will warm your heart. 100% of the energy for the illumination will be produced by recycled oil. The display will run from November 8, 2019 to January 5, 2020.

    As Shinagawa Ward will also be lit up at the same time, visitors will be able to treat themselves to a glorious view of approximately 410 thousand sakura-coloured lights, creating a unique opportunity to witness Winter Sakura®. The beautiful illumination along the riverbanks of Meguro River will be the largest illumination project within Yamanote Line with a total length of 2.2km of riverbanks covered (counting both sides of the river). Enjoy the beautiful warm light reflecting off the river’s surface.

    The megurogawa MINNA no ILLUMINATION project was launched in response to the locals’ desire, love and praise for riverside illumination displays. The project involves collecting waste oil from restaurants, cafés and households and recycling it as the sole energy source to power the illumination display. This project has become a symbol of winter and plays a significant role in strengthening bonds with the locals. 

     

    Last year, approximately 5,500 litres of oil was collected from 11 places including restaurants, cafés and apartment blocks. This was converted by a power generator which supplied all the electricity necessary to run all the lights. This year, unused oil from local restaurants and apartment blocks will be recycled into biodiesel once again to run another Winter Sakura® light display which tourists flock to see. 

    This year will also see the return of German Outdoor Dome Garden Igloos from last year. This creates the perfect spot to watch the Winter Sakura® without getting cold or being affected by rain or the wind. There will be three garden igloos at this year’s event and each will have a unique colour theme. Each igloo will be 3.6 metres in diameter, 2.2m high and contain a ground area of 10m², allowing for plenty of space to relax.   

     

    Igloo Availability: December 16 – 25, 2019 *Subject to change

     

    Gotanda Fureai Mizube Hirobamade even made the news in overseas countries as a result of the illumination project. This is the perfect way warm your heart during the cold winter.

  • Indulge in a Strawberry Heaven at Hoshino Resorts KAI in Tochigi Prefecture

    15.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    A new hotel plan has arrived at three branches of Hoshino Resort’s hot spring hotel brand KAI in Tochigi Prefecture where guests can enjoy the luxury of strawberries together with their stay. Tochigi is famous for growing strawberries, and so all three hotels will serve up their own unique succulent strawberry experiences. The branches in question are KAI Kawaji, KAI Kinugawa, and KAI Nikko.

    For roughly the past 50 years, Tochigi has enjoyed the largest cultivation of strawberries in the whole of Japan. Hoshino Resorts KAI is taking advantage of this milestone by presenting guests with a strawberry experience they won’t forget, with the delicious fruit comprising the whole of their stay from checking in to checking out. Each hotel branch will have different varieties of strawberries in stock, and guests will discover new ways to enjoy them. They will also be presented a map highlighting different locations to indulge in strawberry desserts, so they can carry on their fruitful after checking out on the road home too.

    KAI Kawaji: Strawberry Picking at a Japanese-Style Hot Spring Inn

    KAI Kawaji’s “Satoyama Ichigo Taizai” (Satoyama Strawberry Stay) plan offers a one-night stay with a strawberry picking session by the watermill in the hotel grounds. The strawberries there are juicy and sweet and ripen on the stalks. During your stay, you can go and pick them at your leisure. The strawberries grown there are a variety called tochiotome which have a full-bodied aroma are sweet with the perfect amount of sourness. In the evenings, a sunken hearth will be lit at the watermill so you can stay warm in the fresh winter outdoors while you pick your strawberries. Guests can also enjoy a strawberry sweet red-bean soup made with rare white strawberries which came out as a new variety of Tochigi Prefecture strawberry in 2018. They have less sourness and are super sweet with a smooth texture.

     

    Running: January 15, 2020 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)

    Price: From ¥25,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)

    Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/kawaji/

    KAI Kinugawa: Taste and compare seasonal strawberries

    KAI Kinugawa’s “Mingei Ichigo Taizai” (Folk Craft Strawberry Stay) plan will see the appearance of the tochihime strawberry which has been dubbed the “phantom strawberry.” This sweet variety is large and has a soft flesh and is exclusive to Tochigi. Guests will be able to taste and compare this and a handful of other types, as well as tuck into various strawberry confections. They will pick from 300 cute different bowls from the bowl gallery and pile inside them strawberries and assorted confections. In the evenings, strawberries will also be served boiled in white wine. A two-day and one-night experience you’d expect from the place that boasts the biggest strawberry haul in Japan.

     

    Running: December 10, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)

    Price: From ¥29,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)

    Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/kinugawa/

    Note: Limited to 5 separate bookings per day

    KAI Nikko: Revel in wintertime Okunikko

    KAI Nikko is located beside the grand Lake Chūzenji. Their “Zekkei Ichigo Taizai” (Spectacular View Strawberry Stay) plan will see their lobby, which offers a panoramic view of Mount Nantai, turn into a tearoom inspired by the rest stops of Nikkomou, an event that took place during the Edo Period when the Tokugawa Shogunate made their pilgrimage to Nikko. Guests can enjoy the contrast between the setting sun and the snow, as well as the pink-coloured sky when morning breaks. Taking place between sunset and sunrise, guests can tuck into rare white strawberries and warm confections made with yōkan―a Japanese jellied dessert made from red bean paste, agar, and sugar―which is a local specialty of Nikko.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Check In)

    Price: From ¥28,000 (1 room for up to 2 people / Service charge included / Tax not included)

    Reservations/Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/nikko/

    Note: Limited to 2 separate bookings per day

     

     

    Enjoy you’re a seasonal strawberry fill like never before at Hoshino Resorts KAI.

  • Roof Star Gardens Illumination Event to Take Place On GINZA SIX’s Rooftop Garden

    02.October.2019 | SPOT

    Ginza’s biggest shopping centre GINZA SIX has announced that it’s set to light up its rooftop garden with an enchanting illumination event titled Rooftop Star Garden which will begin on November 26 and run until February 24 next year.

     

    Standing at 56 meters high, the rooftop garden is the “closest place to the stars” in Ginza. This will be GINZA SIX’s first ever illumination event and it will shine a bright spotlight against the nightscape of Ginza’s streets.

     

    Rooftop Star Garden will take place in two areas in the garden: the Water Fountain Area and the Forest Area, both of which will welcome star-themed light shows.

    The theme of the Water Fountain Area is “Shooting Star,” whose LED lights will elicit a sense of profoundness in its observers. 147 LED lights will form the main monument of this area, with bright, sparkling illuminations that will remind one of shooting and twinkling stars.

    The Forest Area is made up of two separate areas between the Water Fountain Area. Lasers will shoot through crystals, creating an ocean of countless specks of light that look like little stars that make it feel like you’re in space.

     

    This limited-time event is the perfect way to spend this year’s Christmas, so don’t miss out.

     

    *Photos are for illustrative purposes only

  • Blue Grotto Fukuoka Illuminations 2019: Exquisite Food & Enchanting Lights

    25.September.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Blue Grotto FUKUOKA is an illumination event that opened at Nakasu Bridge in Fukuoka on September 16 and will run until October 6.

    Nakasu Bridge is located in the shopping district Nakase, where two exhibits are taking place: “Blue Grotto” and “Blue Waterfall.” They are also offering a very special romantic and magical 30-minute boat cruise which takes passengers from Nakasu Bridge to Canal City Hakata and Hakata Bay.

    As well as the breathtaking lights, passengers can look forward to a specially-prepared Blue Grotto Bolognese meal made by Nisshin Foods. Passengers will also receive an original Blue Grotto postcard courtesy of their boarding.

     

    During the illumination event, there will be multiple food booths around Nakase Bridge serving an assortment of delicious food, including some made using Blue Grotto brand ingredients in collaboration with Nisshin Foods.

  • Cruise by the Dazzling Blue Grotto Illuminations in Fukuoka

    10.September.2019 | SPOT

    As part of a project to vitalise and develop the town of Hakata in Fukuoka and promote its wonderful culture to the people of the world, the Blue Grotto FUKUOKA Executive Committee is set to hold a special illumination event titled Blue Grotto FUKUOKA at Nakasu Bridge from September 16 to October 6.

     

    This illumination event first began in Nakameguro, Tokyo back in 2014 where it enjoyed great success. The location was then moved in 2016 to Shibuya where over 2.8 million people attended. It was then held outside the Tokyo area for the first time in Sapporo in February 2018 and then in Osaka in September of the same year. This enabled it to become widespread across the country and has consequentially made it become one of the main illumination events of Japan.

    Blue Grotto will now make its way to Kyushu for the first time with Blue Grotto FUKUOKA. Boats will be prepared for the romantic and magical cruise which will take passengers from Nakasu Bridge to Canal City Hakata and Hakata Bay.

     

    As well as the breathtaking lights, passengers can look forward to a specially-prepared pasta meal made by Nisshin Foods using Blue Grotto brand products.

  • From Wine to Hydrangeas Taste the Regional Shaved Ice Flavours of Japan at Hoshino Resorts KAI

    10.July.2019 | FOOD

    Hoshino Resorts hot spring ryokan brand KAI is offering guests the opportunity to explore different regional shaved ice desserts that are served with delicious regional syrups and toppings. Shaved ice is a traditional summer dessert that was even mentioned in the famous work The Pillow Book, which was written by Sei Shonagon during her time as Empress Consort Teishi’s court lady during the 990s and early 1000s of the Heian period.

    The concept of KAI expresses both originality and the thirst for experimenting to make something new. The event offers a range of original flavours, embracing the Japanese tradition of eating flavoured shaved ice to battle the heat of summer. From wine-flavoured shaved ice in Nagano, to Hydrangea shaved ice at Hakone, this is the perfect opportunity to try a range of shaved ice desserts that are full of vibrant colours. These regional flavours are sure to spark your curiosity for discovery in that region. 

    Wine Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto (Asama Onsen, Nagano)

    The cone-shaped region of Kikyogahara, which is located next to Matsumoto city, is well known for its wine production. This area produces around 50 different kinds of Kikyogahara wine. The flavoured syrup for this shaved ice comes from concord grape wine sourced from Kikyogahara. Each porcelain bowl for the dessert is handmade. Customers can enjoy the smooth, rounded feel of the grape pattern on the bowl as they dig into their dessert. As the alcohol is burned out of the dish, even those who do not like alcohol can enjoy this mature dessert. From the carefully prepared wine syrup to the handmade bowl, you will be able to feel all the hard work put into the making of these luxurious desserts. This is the perfect way to cool off after a hot day.

    Hydrangea Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone

    Due to the altitude differences at Hakone, you can enjoy the beautiful hydrangeas for an even longer time than other areas of Japan. There is a Hydrangea train (Ajisai Densha) that runs up the mountains providing passengers with the beautiful view of blooming flowers, creating the perfect summer memories. Observing the large groups of flowers in full bloom fills you with such a refreshing feeling. Their beautiful colours are expressed in the colour of this hydrangea shaved ice.  

    Strawberry Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Chuzenji Onsen, Tochigi)

    Tochigi prefecture has been Japan’s no.1 producer of strawberries for 50 years straight. This shaved ice is served in a strawberry-shaped bowl and is served with sweet yet slightly sour strawberry syrup and a topping of bittersweet matcha sauce. Here, you can enjoy a cool evening up 1,300 metres high overlooking beautiful scenery from inside the establishment whose spectacular interior that boasts Tochigi’s traditional art of Kanuma Kanoko craft. 

    Tomato Flavoured Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sonomoto, Oita)

    As tomatoes thrive during the summer, this tomato shaved ice is the perfect way to cool down. This shaved ice is sweet and slightly sour and the vibrant red colour is enough to refresh you. Tomatoes are low in calories and contain an abundant range of healthy nutrients. They are also high in vitamin C which is good for your skin and is known for helping prevent illness. Tomatoes are also a good supply of vitamin E, which is good at slowing the effects of aging. Take a seat on the terrace and enjoy your shaved ice as a refreshing breeze rolls by. This is the perfect way to enjoy a cool summer with a healthy and delicious dessert. 

    Neputa Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru (Owani Onsen, Aomori)

    The Neputa Shaved Ice represents the Hirosaki Neputa Festival that takes place in the summer at the old castle town of Hirosaki. To represent Tsugaru Vidro coloured glass, which is an important part of Tsugaru culture, red, blue and green coloured jelly pieces decorate the top of the shaved ice. These colours also represent the vibrant colours of Neputa festival. This Instagram-worthy dessert shows off the best of the fresh colours of Tsugaru. 

  • Visit Ashikaga Flower Park for the Great Wisteria Festival to enjoy 350 Wisteria trees and 5000 Azalea in full bloom!

    18.April.2019 | SPOT

    The Great Wisteria Festival 2019 will be held in Ashikaga Flower Park from Saturday 13th April.

    During the festival, the park will be in full bloom, featuring mainly wisteria. The wisteria will only be in bloom from a week before to a week after the festival, adding to the precious value of the festival. If you pay a visit, you can enjoy over 150-year-old wisteria trees spread over a 600-tatami trellis area, an 80 m-long white wisteria tunnel, a tunnel of Kibana wisteria, and even more wisteria trees in full bloom.

     

    Various colours of wisteria bloom in order over the course of a month, from pale crimson, violet and white to yellow. CNN praised the park as a magical scenery of spreading light, and it was the only Japanese location to be voted as one of the “2014 top 10 world dream destinations”.

    Dazzling pale crimson (cherry blossom-coloured) wisteria.

    Best seen: mid ー end of April

    Great wisteria (designated as a protected species of Tochigi prefecture)

    Best seen: End of April ー early May

    More than 5,000 Azalea plants

    Best seen: mid-April ー early May

     

    Azalea can be found all over the world. Including the species that are specially cultivated in parks, there are over 1,000 species. These flowers dazzle with vivid colours in the sunlight, which looks especially beautiful when they are in full bloom. Ashikaga Flower Park station opened in April 2018, meaning that you only have to walk for three minutes to reach the beautiful flowers.

     

    During the holidays, bring your family and friends to the park and enjoy the dazzling flowers to your heart’s content!

  • Colourful Harajuku Area to Open at Nasu Highland Park With KAWAII MONSTER CAFE Collab

    12.April.2019 | SPOT

    During Japanese Golden Week the event “HARAJUKU COLORFUL STREET” will run at Nasu Highland Park from April 27 to May 6.

     

    The event is produced by ASOBISYSTEM, a company based in Harajuku―Japan’s hub for fashion, culture and trends. Nasu Highland Park will be decorated in all things Harajuku.

    Photo: KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU (The food sold at the event will be different from that at the cafe)

    The KAWAII MONSTER CAFE is a thriving Harajuku tourist spot popular for its eye-catching food, desserts and drinks. They will serve up a colourful and crazy pop menu at the event as well as much-enjoyed desserts and drinks from Harajuku.

    Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK-

    Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK- is an art piece created by Sebastian Masuda who is known for his work on Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s live performances. The clock is a former symbol of Harajuku with many photos having been taken in front of it by locals and tourists. It will be set up at the event in addition to lots of other bright and vivid photo spots.

     

    Other activities will include workshops for parents and children, shopping booths with cute products and lots more. More information will be released on the park’s website in the coming weeks.

     

    Nasu Highland Park is the largest amusement park in Tochigi with around 40 attractions from thrilling roller coasters to a haunted castle as well as a fishing pond, BBQ area, zoo and more. Travel to the park this Golden Week with friends and family for a day of fun.

  • Enjoy Cherry Blossoms and Illuminations at Yomiuri Land This Spring

    10.March.2019 | SPOT

    Japanese amusement park Yomiuri Land is set to hold its first ever Yozakura Jewel Illumination event from March 21 to April 7. It will combine evening-time cherry blossoms with gorgeous illuminations.

     

    The event will give bloom to various attractions, such as “Jewel Aurora ~Nighttime Ferris Wheel” designed by internationally-active Japanese lighting artist Motoko Ishii. The park’s 180-meter long strip of cherry trees will combine the vivid cherry blossoms with bright pink lights.

    Sakura Promenade: 180-meters of magical cherry trees

    Using the light pink cherry blossoms as the base, the Sakura Promenade will be lined with bright lights in the evening, creating a memorable and must-see display.

    Jewel Aurora ~Nighttime Ferris Wheel: Illuminated in Cherry Blossom Pink

    The huge Ferris wheel will be lit up with colourful lights in the image of cherry blossoms.

    Bandit: The fastest ever hanami experience at 110km!

    Enjoy a fast hanami flower-viewing of the cherry blossoms at high speed on Bandit, the park’s most popular roller coaster.

    Gondola Sky Shuttle: Hanami from above

    Enjoy gazing at the cherry blossoms up high over the trees aboard the gondola. It will be like gliding over a pink carpet.

    Cherry Blossom Tunnel

    Walk through the 180-meter long cherry blossom tunnel and enjoy the sights whether strolling or kicking back on the benches.

    Yomiuri Land Oka no Yu: Hanami from the open-air baths

    For a separate fee, sit under the cherry trees inside the open air baths for a relaxing experience.

     

    Enjoy a different kind of hanami this year at Yomiuri Land with their many cherry blossom events.

  • “Blue Grotto SHIBUYA”, is the collaboration of fantastic illumination and beautiful tones at the Shibuya Koen dori

    02.December.2018 | SPOT

    “Blue Grotto SHIBUYA” (Ao No Dokutsu) runs from Koendori street to Yoyogi Koen Keyaki Namiki street from November 30th(Fri) to December 31st(Mon).

    Sound has been added to this year’s light show performance, which was very popular last year. The sound of ringing bells accompanies the light show and makes you feel winter has come. Everyone can enjoy this illumination show with both their eyes and ears.

    Ao no Dokutsu bolognaise  ¥460(tax included)

    Blue Champagne

    「Ao no Dokutsu Blue Parks」opens the same as last year, offering Nisshin Foods「Ao no Dokutsu bolognaise, blue champagne and hot blue lemonade inspired by the blue grotto.

    There is a BLUE CUBE from the commercial of 「Ao no Dokutsu」as a photo spot. The

    exterior is very sophisticated, and the inside is a completely different style from the outside with surfaces mirrored in blue decoration, creating a fantastic illusion. During the Christmas season, the illumination is linked with the sound of piano.

    Everyone can enjoy this collaboration of light and sound「Ao no Dokutsu SHIBUYA」with family and friends!

  • Best Tokyo Illuminations: December 2018 to February 2019

    01.December.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Every year during Japanese wintertime the streets are lit up with big, bright and beautiful illuminations. They are of course held all the way up to Christmas but can be enjoyed all the way into February. Here’s our list of must-see Tokyo illuminations this year.

     

    Keyakizaka Illuminations (Running until December 25)

    Around 700,000 LED lights will decorate the trees of Keyakizaka street, bringing to light that charming feeling of Tokyo wintertime. This marks the 15th year of the street’s illuminations, and this year’s theme is “LIVE veil.” Passersby will be greeted with the glow of crisp blue and snow white LED lights. The bridge located in the centre of Keyakizaka street will make for a great photo with Tokyo Tower in the background. These are the perfect illuminations to visit if you’re sightseeing in Tokyo!

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/128726

     

    ■Information

    Roppongi Hills Christmas 2018
    Location: Roppongi Hills (Roppongi Keyakizaka-dori, 66 Plaza, West Walk, Roppongi Hills Arena, Oyane Plaza, and elsewhere)

    Website: http://www.roppongihills.com/

     

    Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018 (November 8 – December 25)

    The Marunouchi area is currently hosing an event titled Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018 in collaboration with famous Japanese singer Yuming who is celebrating her 46th anniversary this year since her debut. A Christmas tree called the “Knit Tree” made in collaboration with the singer is currently on display at the Marcube on the first floor of the Marunouchi building, the main vneue for this event. The tree is decorated with dazzling illuminations as Yuming’s songs provide the soundtrack to the room.

     

    ■Information

    Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018

    Running: November 8, 2018 – December 25, 2018

    Locations: Marunouchi Building, Shin-Marunouchi Building, Nijubashi Square, Marunouchi Brick Square, Marunouchi Oazo, and elsewhere

    Website: https://www.marunouchi.com/event/detail/14018/

     

     

    Illumination Island Odaiba 2018 (November 16 – December 25)

    Ten facilities in the Odaiba area including the shopping mall, hotels and transportation facilities are joining in with Illumination Island Odaiba 2018. Daiba Memorial Tree boasts as the biggest live tree in the city standing almost 20 meters high and 10 meters wide. The branches, which stretch an enormous 200 meters, are wrapped with 220,000 light, creating a captivating scene.

     

    ■Information

    Illumination Island Odaiba 2018

    Running: November 16, 2018 – December 25, 2018

    Participating Facilities: 10

    Website: https://rurubu.jp/redirect/article/4683/

    ©Sotsu・Sunrise Inc.

     

    Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018 (November 9 – January 6)

    Meguro River is famous for its cherry trees which line stretch 4km along the waters and bring beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. This winter, Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018 (‘Meguro River: Illuminations for Everyone’) is seeing the path along the river decorated with lights which will reflect off the water’s surface. The Fuyu no Sakura® (‘Winter Cherry Blossoms’) flower viewing spot which was a huge hit last year has made an appearance again this year. People are enjoying the ‘winter cherry blossoms’ーthe pink illuminationsーfrom the comfort of one of the three garden igloos which all have different interiors. Sitting in one of these means you don’t have to worry about wind, rain or cold weather.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/137108

     

    ■Information

    Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018

    Locations: Meguro River / Gotanda Fureai Waterside Square (2-9 Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa, Tokyo)

    Illumination Period: November 9, 2018 – January 6, 2019

    Illumination Time: 17:00-22:00 (Will go ahead during rain)

    *Closed during storms. Additionally, illumination time will begin at 17:30 on November 9 only.

    Entry: Free

    Access: 6-minutes on foot from Osaki Station and Gotanda Station via JR Lines

    TEL: 03-5330-7675

    Official Website: http://www.minna-no-illumi.com/

     

    Shinjuku Minamilumi Illuminations (November 14 – February 14)

    The Shinjuku Minamilumi illuminations have made their sixth return to the south exit of Shinjuku Station again this year. “Minamilumi” is a portmanteau of minami no illumination (‘south illuminations’) and minna de miru illumination (‘illuminations to watch with everyone’). Each pedestrian area around the south exit is currently adorned with many different illuminations. Each location is within walking distance from the other, so you can spend a nice relaxing time strolling and seeing the different lights that will welcoming this year’s winter.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/125425

     

    ■Information

    Shinjuku Minamilumi Illuminations

    Areas: Shinjuku Southern Terrace / Takashiyama Times Square / Shinjuku Maynds Tower / JR South Shinjuku Bldg. / JR Shinjuku Miraina Tower / Suica’s Penguin Park

    Closest Stations: Shinjuku Station (JR Line, Odakyu Line, Keio Line, Toei Shinjuku Line, Oedo Line) / Shinjuku-Sanchome Station (Fukutoshin Line)

    Running: November 14, 2018 – January 14, 2019

    Illumination Times: 5:00pm-12:00am

    *4:30pm-12:00am in December.

    *Illumination areas, content and details subject to change.

     

    Omohara Beer Forest Illuminations (November 15 – February 28)

    The Omohara Beer Forest―located on the sixth floor rooftop of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku―is currently hosting an illumination event. The illuminations have brought a mix of natural light and gentle fairy lights to central Harajuku. 16,000 illuminations bask the surrounding space and trees with warm light. A space surrounded by trees will give rise to 16,000 illuminations with warm light. Opening hours have been extended to 11:00pm from the usual 9:00pm for the Christmas and New Year periods. A perfect place to stop by after work or shopping.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/135593

     

    ■Information

    Omohara Illuminations

    Running: November 15, 2018 – February 28, 2019

    Location: Omohara Beer Forest (Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku 6F Rooftop, 4-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)

    Time: 17:00-23:00 (Last Entries 22:30 – subject to changes during New Year’s Holiday)

    Website: https://omohara.tokyu-plaza.com/

     

    Illuminations are a big part of Japan’s winter culture, so take your friends and loved ones this year.

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