5 Must-Visit Beautiful and Romantic Lantern Festivals in Japan | 2020 Edition

02.February.2020 | SPOT

The season for Japan’s enchanting and romantic lantern events has finally arrived, and the line-up this year is diverse, from events where lanterns are the main attraction to lantern-lined festivals and Japanese matsuri festivals.

 

Hankyu Travel International compiled a list of these events , and we’ve pulled out some of the best ones for you.

 

Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru | Iwate Prefecture

This year marks the third run of “Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru,” an event held during winter for guests staying at Hanamaki Onsen. The event is comprised of many elements, including fireworks, folk entertainment, and more. People will also write wishes and messages or draw pictures on their lanterns before sending them up into the winter night sky. Afterwards, they can enjoy a dip in the hot springs at Hanamaki Onsen to warm themselves up and unwind from the day.

 

Running: January 26, 2020/February 22, 2020/February 11, 2020/February 16, 2020/February 24, 2020

Location: Namari Ski Center
Address: Nakadaira-36-1 Namari, Hanamaki, Iwate

 

▼Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru Tour
https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E3%81%AF%E3%81%AA%E3%81%BE%E3%81%8D%E6%98%9F%E3%82%81%E3%81%90%E3%82%8A%E3%81%AE%E5%A4%9C/?p_baitai=9599

 

 

China Lantern Festival | Chiba Prefecture

Tokyo German Village is hosting its second China Lantern Festival, inspired by the typical traditional festivals held in China during spring. A selection of 30 lantern installations of varying sizes made by the world’s biggest lantern maker Lantern Group have been set up in the 50,000 square meter area. Pieces include lanterns over 10 meters long and high, lanterns floating on the water, moving lanterns, and more.

 

Running: November 23, 2019 – April 5, 2020

Location: Tokyo German Village

Address: 419 Nagayoshi, Sodegaura, Chiba

 

▼Tokyo German Village Tour
https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%AC%E3%83%89%E3%82%A4%E3%83%84%E6%9D%91/?p_baitai=9599

 

 

Tsunan Yuki Matsuri | Niigata Prefecture

Since 2012, the people of Tsunan in Niigata have raised sky lanterns into the sky to pray for the revival from the disaster that the Tohoku earthquake brought in 2011. It is a two-day festival, with the first day of the event taking place at night, and the second being the main day of the festival. The festival is so popular that tickets never fail to sell out quickly every year. It brings with it a host of events, from the lanterns to the snowboard straight jumping tournament, the hanging of snow lanterns, snowmobile rides, and more.

 

Running: March 14, 2020 (There will also be a lantern event the night before on March 13, 2020)

Location: New Greenpia Tsunan

Address: 12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata

 

▼Niigata Tsunan Sky Lantern Festival Tour
https://www.hankyu-travel.com/chubu-hokuriku/niigata/lantern/?p_baitai=9599

 

 

Nagasaki Lantern Festival | Nagasaki Prefecture

This festival was originally held during the Chinese New year by the people of Nagasaki Chinatown, but in 1994 it was given the name “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” To date, it has been attended by over 1 million people. This year, around 15,000 lanterns of varying sizes are set to light the streets. Taking place across several areas, some standout pieces include the peach-coloured lanterns at Nagasaki Chinatown, the ceiling lanterns at Hamanomachi Arcade, the water lanterns at Nagashimagawa Park, and more. On weekends, there are also parades, traditional Chinese performance, and other exciting events. And if you head to Nagasaki Confucian Shrine (also known as Koshi-byo), you can offer a love lantern to pray for happiness in your relationship.

 

Running: January 24, 2020 – February 9, 2020
Locations: Nagasaki Chinatown/Central Park/Tojin Yashiki/and elsewhere
Address: Various places throughout the city of Nagasaki

 

▼Nagasaki Lantern Festival

Hankyu Travel International Tour: Hankyu Travel International

Nagasaki Tourism Page: https://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/what-to-see/62/

 

Ryukyu Lantern Festival 2019-2020 | Okinawa Prefecture

Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park is known for having originally been used as the set for several historical drama series, and was subsequently turned into a theme park after filming was finished. The Ryukyu Lantern Festival welcomes a variety of different lanterns, including Chinese lanterns, paper lanterns, various Asian lanterns, and more, each of which bring a completely different atmosphere depending on the area you are in. This year sees the welcome return of the annual lantern contest where 45 individual lantern pieces are exhibited. There are also different street performances every day on the Night Lantern Stage, as well as projection mapping displays, the Night Lantern Cafe, and more.

 

Running: December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Location: Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park

Address: 1020-1 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa

Murasaki Mura Official Website: https://murasakimura.com/

 

 

Be part of one of Japan’s many beautiful lantern festivals this year and witness some seriously breathtaking night scenes.

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    ©Disney

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    Big Bite Croissant

     

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    Sweet Gaston

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    ©Disney

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    Tabloid Distribution

    For illustrative purposes only. Distribution from September 12, 2020.

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    Cars photo spot

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    Merchandise lineup

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    Those who ride the very first departing train will receive an original Pixar design train ticket. The Tsubame 363 train bound for Kagoshima-Chūō Station will depart from Hakata Station at 12:19 on September 12, 2020.

     

    ©Disney/Pixar

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    The main visual for the exhibition

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    ⒸRumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan・Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation・Sunrise 2009

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    Affordable summer all-you-can-drink

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    All-You-Can-Drink Plan

    Running: Until August 31, 2020

    Time: 60-minutes max in the evenings

    Menu: Beer, Shochu, Highball, Sours, and more.

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    Universal Studios Japan (USJ) reopened on June 19, 2020 after temporary closure as a result of COVID-19. The park is now running with strict measures in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, including practicing the 2m social distancing rule, making it mandatory to wear face masks, and so on. The park has posted a full video demonstration of the rules on their official website.

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    The peak moment of the parade will be when confetti rains down on guests in huge quantities. Flags can also be bought for the parade for the first time in this year. Performers and the park characters will be able to entertain guests at a distance while still connecting with them through the fun performances. A special “social distance” performance created in cooperation with the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education will also be part of the parade. This year’s parade plans to have guests dancing and smiling even more than previous years to lift some of that stress away and give them the fight and energy to continue into tomorrow.

     

    Universal Summer Parade: We Are One

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    Running: July 23, 2020 – August 27, 2020

    Location: Parade Route

    Time: One per day from 11:00am (approx 40 mins) 

    Buy yourself a parade flag for ¥500 and wave it around to the beat of the festival!

     

    Cool yourself off with some summer merch

    Get your hands on some merch for cooling off, including the must-have summer “Handy Fan,” a “UV Poncho” which keeps you cool in the heat of the sun, a classic “Sensu” folding fan, and more.

     

    Feel the Japanese festivities with the Universal Market

    The Universal Market will give that Japanese ‘matsuri’ festival vibe. Enjoy some cool desserts, spicy food, and more.

    Left: Super Hot! Turkey Leg ¥1,000 / Centre: Peach Jelly Soda: ¥650 / Right: Frappe Sundae ~Strawberry & Blue Hawaii~ ¥750

    Since guest safety is the number one priority this summer, the park will not be holding its famous splash performance where guests are soaked with water by water shooters.

     

    Additionally, the parade will also not stop in any of the usual designated places and will instead keep on moving, meaning the parade can be enjoyed from anywhere along the parade route. Guests will be able to keep plenty of distance from others as they watch the parade.

     

    The park also released a statement on its ‘enhanced sanitation in park operations’ on its official website so you can find out more about what USJ is doing to tackle the COVID-19 spread.

     

    If you’re in Osaka this year, you can still enjoy summer at Universal Studios Japan with all the necessary precautions in place.

  • Hello Kitty Cafe to Open in Narita Airport’s Anime Deck This July

    02.July.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    KADOKAWA is set to open a Hello Kitty themed cafe on the Narita Anime Deck—which is located on the Main Building second floor of Narita International Airport Terminal 2—for a limited time from July 3, 2020 to October 2, 2020.

     

    The Narita Anime Deck

    The Narita Anime Deck opened inside Narita International Airport Terminal 2 in November 2019. It’s an entertainment facility where travellers from around the world can experience and enjoy Japanese anime culture in various forms such as with character merchandise, food, events, and a variety of photo spots.

     

    Hello Kitty Cafe

    The facility has collaborated with numerous anime series to open up limited-time cafes since it opened. This time around it is joining paws with Hello Kitty, a face known to all across the globe. As well as themed food, drinks and merchandise, customers can take a Hello Kitty quiz, learn the history behind Hello Kitty, and more.

     

    An Original Food Menu


    Hello Kitty’s Lovely♡ Pink Curry: ¥1,500


    Hello Kitty’s Gurakoro Burger: ¥1,500


    Hello Kitty’s Strawberry Pancake: ¥1,400


    Hello Kitty’s Strawberry Parfait: ¥1,200

     

    An Original Drinks Menu

    The incredible drinks menu is diverse, including lattes where you can get 46 different latte art designs of Hello Kitty from 1974-2019. It could be fun to pick your birth year, or a year where you have fond memories.

    Hello Kitty’s Colourful Tapioca Drinks (Matcha Milk/Strawberry Milk/Milk Tea): ¥720 Each

     
    Hello Kitty’s Marshmallow Coffee: ¥800


    Hello Kitty’s Latte (46 Designs): ¥720 Each

     

    Novelties

    For every item you order from the collaboration menu, you can also receive one of 46 possible original coasters once again featuring a different design of Hello Kitty between the years 1974-2019.

     

    1st Line-Up: July 3, 2020 – August 2, 2020


    2nd Line-Up: August 3, 2020 – September 2, 2020


    3rd Line-Up: September 3, 2020 – October 2, 2020

    If you’re travelling through Narita Airport anytime this year up to October, then be sure to head on up to the Narita Anime Deck to dine at the Hello Kitty Cafe.

     

    © 1976, 2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L611439

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