2021 New Year’s in Japan: 5 Must-Visit Illumination Spots

27.December.2020 | SPOT

Illumination and light-up events are a huge part of winter and the holiday season in Japan, but when Christmas ends, many of them are turned off until next year. But there are still some that run through the New Year holidays and into early spring, so we’ve compiled a list of 5 must-visit illumination and light-up spots to visit over the next couple of months.

Please note that the times and dates of these events are subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation.

 

Tochigi: The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~

Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi, is holding an illumination event for winter called “The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~” until February 7, 2021. Held for the 19th time this year, the event was ranked among the Top 3 biggest light-up events in Japan in 2017 alongside Sapporo White Illuminations and Huis Ten Bosch Illuminations. It was also ranked top by night view critics in Japan as the best illumination event for four consecutive years.

Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/366535 

 

▼The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~

Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi
Running: October 17, 2020 – February 7, 2021
Official Website: https://www.ashikaga.co.jp/flowerfantasy_special2020/en/index.html

 

▼MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS

Tokyo Midtown’s winter season event ‘MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS’ is running until February 28, 2021. “ANOTHER WORLD” is the concept for this year’s rendition of the annual event, which is enjoying new winter illuminations, Christmas decorations, an ice rink, and plenty of other fun experiences for people to enjoy throughout the entire day, right into the evening. A highlight of the event is the “MIDTOWN WINTER LIGHTS,” warm illuminations to light fires in hearts during the cold winter season that will create a dazzling spectacle the likes of which cannot be missed.

Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/366420

 

▼MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS
Running: November 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Official Website: https://www.tokyo-midtown.com

 

Kanagawa: SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION’s ‘Pokémon Illuminations’

Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest’s annual SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION winter event is taking place until April 4, 2021, and this year, it has brought that a new Pokémon with Pokémon illuminations. Wild Pokémon illuminations roam everywhere and there are plenty of Pokémon photo spots to take your picture with including Pikachu sleeping in the forest, Charmander taking a nap by an open-air, and more.

Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/375427

 

▼SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION
Address: 1634 Wakayanagi, Midori-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Running: November 14, 2020 – April 4, 2021
Illumination Times: 16:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:30)
*Illumination times to begin from 17:00 starting in February
Official Website: https://www.sagamiko-resort.jp/illumillion/

 

Nagano: Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up

Shiraito Highland Way is holding this year’s Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up until February 14, 2021. Karuizawa Shiraito Falls is a 3-meter tall waterfall that spans 70-meters in length. The lights add a warmth to the cool evening and glow under a starry night sky. The event creates a different atmosphere from the summer light-up, allowing visitors to enjoy the enveloping nature in a way that they normally can’t and see beauty they may not have noticed in the area before.

Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/379120

 

▼Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up
Location: Karuizawa Shiraito Falls
Running: December 19, 2020 – February 14, 2021
・Christmas Session: December 19th-20th, 24th-27th (17:00-19:00)
・New Year Session: January 2nd-3rd, 8th-11th (17:00-19:00)
・St.Valentine Session: February 11th-14th (17:30-19:30)

Access: https://karuizawa-shw.com/access/

*Please see the website for the latest information
*Entry restrictions may be made depending on the number of visitors

Official Website: https://karuizawa-shw.com/

 

Shizuoka: Hikari no Sumika Winter Illuminations

Toki no Sumika is hosting its 19th annual winter illumination event “Hikari no Sumika” until March 21, 2021. There are many different illumination areas to enjoy at the event, like the Forest of Trees Illuminations, the 370m-long Tunnel of Lights, and more.

Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/359381

 

▼Hikari no Sumika 2020-2021
Running: September 18, 2020 – March 21, 2021
Address: Gotemba Kogen Toki no Sumika, 719 KōyamaGotemba, Shizuoka
Illumination Times: 17:30-22:00
Car Park Spaces: 2,000
Enquiries: 0550-87-3700 (9:00-20:00)

Official Website: http://www.tokinosumika.com/illuminations2017/renewal/

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    TEXT: Natalie(MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

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    [Tokyo] ‘Shonen, Shou’ 

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    Text: Natalie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

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    Guests can enjoy an illuminated walk along the Toyohira River in the Jozankei area of Hokkaido, and wander across the picturesque Futami Suspension Bridge. The night walk takes places to the southwest of the Sapporo city center. 

     

    Forest Illumination

    Futami Valley

     

     

    Visitors will encounter a variety of unique light art as they stroll through the rich nature of Jozankei guided by the elusive kappa, known to be the guardian Gods of the region. 

     

    Nature Light Canvas

    River Road

     

     

    As visitors approach, the river begins to glow while flowers bloom in this interactive art experience. By using projection mapping across the Futami Suspension Bridge and an all-encompassing light show within the canyon, the event hopes to remind visitors that nature is important and worth preserving. 

     

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    In celebration of Meiji’s popular Marble chocolate, The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji is collaborating with the confectionery brand to offer a Marble themed hotel room for guests. The room opened on July 27.

    Showa retro-style posters, telephone, and other decorations

    Meiji’s colourful Marble chocolate was first released in 1961. It turned 60-years-old in February of this year, meaning it has continued to be enjoyed by three generations. Grandparents have passed them onto mothers and fathers, and them to their own children. Now the whole family can celebrate the chocolate in a themed hotel room in Kyoto.


    Named the Marble Room, the hotel room is decorated in seven colours just like the chocolates themselves. This includes seven individual pillows on the sofa, balloons, wall decorations, and more. There’s even a crane game inside the room where guests can obtain some chocolates for free.

     

    Also inside the room are Showa retro-style posters and a telephone, and guests can watch all of the old Marble commercials on the television which have aired these past 60 years. Guests also receive a free smartphone ring, eco bag, pouch, and other little freebies as part of the plan.

  • Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI: Rent Out a Renovated Japanese House in Niigata

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    Japanese design company Jiyujin launched its new Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE chain of accommodations this month which offer a single group of guests a one-night stay in an entire house.

     

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    A breathtaking view awaits guests from the open-air bath

    The spacious living room

    Fully renovated from a 150-year-old private house, the building is supported by beautiful wooden beams and columns, and in the middle the oe, a sunken hearth. This, along with the beams and sashigamoi joints, are made from keyaki Japanese zelkova which is an elm-like tree. This species of tree is rare even in a tree-covered region such as Uonuma. The lumber used for this house was cut, preserved, and dried out for a number of decades before being processed into building material for the house. The heart in the middle of the living room is reminiscent of a time when large families would gather around one and serves to recreate that lifestyle.

     

    The Nishiyama region is known for is production of delicious rice. IZUMI in fact looks out over Kabanosawa, a special and important place of rice production in Nishiyama. This vantage point also gives guests an opportunity to appreciate the hot and cold temperatures of the daytime and evening, the rivers, the shape of the land, and the earth the city sits on. The drastic change in temperatures in the day and night are especially noteworthy as this, along with the basin between the mountains, gives rise to a sea of clouds.

     

    IZUMI sits on a hill that overlooks the rice paddies, making it a perfect location for spotting the sea of clouds. Minamiuonuma’s sea of clouds has over a 70% chances of appearing in the autumn and spring seasons.

     

    The number one reason why Japan’s old, long-standing, and precious private houses are demolished is due to the cold getting in and it being too dark inside. Even those who want to see them preserved for tradition, including those who live in them already, would rather live in a modern home. That’s why Jiyujin has begun a renovation project instead of a demolition one. By refurbishing the houses, the ancient framework can be fixed up and preserved while a range of contemporary amenities are incorporate to fit with modern lifestyles. The Satoyama Jujo accommodations are built so they can be used for over 100 years.

     

    For dinner, there are three options for guests. The first is a dinner at SANABURI which earned itself a Michelin star in Michelin Guide Niigata 2020. The second is a meal at a restaurant that earned the status of Bib Gourmand in the same guide. The third is to prepare your own meal in the house. There are plenty of shops around the station nearby where you can buy local ingredients.

     

    After a delicious meal, guests can take a soak in the open-air tub and enjoy gazing out across the fields and the beautiful mountains which stand almost 2,000 meters high.

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