Winter Illumination in Nagoya 2022

ByRay Proper
Nov 23, 2022

Winter Illumination in Nagoya 2022

Christmas Day in Japan is just another working day, for the most part. The most exciting facet of the Christmas and holiday season in Japan is that all traces of it are gone by morning on December 26. Without fail, every bell, light, garland, and decoration will come down, and the music stops. However, this disappearing act does not hold for one of Japan’s most interesting holiday traditions; “illumination.”

Illuminations are roughly equivalent to the western tradition of putting up Christmas lights. Rather than putting lights up on their own houses, cities or businesses will set them up, and the people will come to them. This is a trendy event for couples, and many illumination displays are set up and run from November straight until Valentine’s Day.

Here are some popular places to experience illumination in and around Nagoya.

Nabana no Sato

The best place to see winter illumination is in 10 minutes from Kuwana Station in Mie. Nabana no Sato is the closest thing you will get in Japan to a neighborhood decked out by friendly competition in lights visible from space. There are 8 million lights spread out all over the entire amusement park, divided into seven different sectors, including the 120m Great River of Lights, two 100m long Tunnels of Lights, a main area with a different theme each year, and a shimmering Mt. Fuji that represents the changing of the seasons. It is a magical place for couples to stroll and woe to any soul who neglects to suggest to their significant other that they meander romantically through the lights.

Perhaps the best way to spend Christmas Day might be to take in an early Christmas dinner and then head to Mie to see the lights. If you have a special someone, it is the perfect place to walk off your meal and enjoy each other’s company. This event is now open for almost seven months out of the year!

Where: Nagashimachokomae-Urusibata 270, Kuwana, Mie (Map)
Website: Nabana no Sato

Hisayaodori Park Flarie

A convenient place to see illumination is Hisayaodori Park Flarie, located between Sakae and Osu. Illumination at Flarie offers a Christmas tree and lights throughout the garden during the Holiday Season. The garden will also host a series of Christmas concerts until December 25 featuring various artists.

Where: 4 Chome-4-1 Osu, Naka Ward (Map)
Website: Flarie

Kiso-Sansen & 138 Tower Park, Ichinomiya

The theme of Ichinomya’s 138 Tower Park illuminations for 2022 is Tsunagu, “Connect for the Future.” There are 13 spots in the park that are lit up with representations of “bonds,” “peace,” “nature,” and “life,” each expressing important things that we should cherish for the future.

At the time of publication, it does not seem that this year the regular festival, with events throughout December, will be held. That is subject to change, so please keep an eye on their website for any changes.

Where: 255-3 Kaizucho Aburajima, Kaizu, Gifu (Map)
Website: Kiso-Sansen Park

Nagoya Port Sea Train Land

Sea Train Land in Nagoya Port holds annual Christmas illuminations with lights and a wealth of attractions; from a towering 85 meters high Ferris Wheel to a classic carousel, this winter event will dazzle and entertain visitors of all ages. Entrance to the park is free, and the event runs until December 30.

This year there will be some 50,000 lights decorating Train Land, and there will also be a Starry Sky Dome. Furthermore, you can see a Christmas tree illumination, and a cascade of light will flow at the Tsudoi-no-Hiroba Square of the Port of Nagoya Garden Futo Pier. Furthermore, heart-shaped photo spots will be dotted around the area for you lovebirds, while children will enjoy the free-of-charge attractions, so it is fun for the entire family!

Where: Minato Ward, Nishikuracho, 1−51 (Map)
Website: Very Merry Christmas  (Japanese)

Higashiyama Sky Tower

You can get a double whammy of illuminations at the Higashiyama Sky Tower. Firstly, the view of the shining city below from its observation deck – designated as one of Japan’s ‘100 Night Views’ – is decorated with bright stars. But also, the tower itself is lit up like a giant Christmas tree.

This year, Tokoname Children’s Choir Christmas Concert will be held on December 18, 2022, while Christmas Eve will include a “Noppy Christmas Greeting” and a further concert performance on Christmas Day.

Where: Kameiri-1-8 Tashirocho, Chikusa Ward, Nagoya (Map)
Website: Higashiyama Sky Tower (Japanese)

Nagoya Station Area

It seems like all department stores in the Meieki area have one sort of illumination or another. Until Christmas Day, The Dai Nagoya Building is lit up at street level with the theme of White Gold, a sparkling 100,000 LED illuminations glowing at street level that change with each passing hour, as well as displaying shining golden decorations in the “Sky Garden” on the 5th floor;

The Kitte Building has taken a different tact. This year’s Lights Down theme centers around a 10m tall “Christmas Tree in the Dark,” made up of 50,000 recycled phosphorescent plastic pieces. Six times a day, on the hour from 17:00, the atrium will be downlit and bask in the glow of the energy savings, whilst “dinner party in the dark” and “concert in the dark” events will also be held.

In addition, the plaza and entrance of Lucent Tower are decorated with lights, with more to come for Christmas; Global Gate in Sasashima will be lit up in its annual green, and outside the JR Central Towers is a tall Christmas tree, lit up and decorated.

If that isn’t enough for you, the streets around the station and along Hirokoji-Dori combined to make the largest illumination display in Nagoya.


Nagoya TV Tower

The TV Tower area has undergone a phenomenal redevelopment over the last few years, but not everything has changed. Remaining is the Tower, the symbol of Nagoya, and as every year, it will be lit up to celebrate the season. This year, they continue the Naked Flower theme, with projection mapping of Aichi’s flowers cast upon the tower.

Where: 3-6-15 Nishiki, Naka-Ku (map)

Other Links

Image by Carlos Honda (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via (modified)
Image by Christoph Rupprecht [CC BY-SA 2.0], via (modified)
Image by kinpi3 [CC BY-SA 2.0], via (modified)
Image by Carlos Honda [CC BY-SA 2.0], via (modified)
Image by kinpi3 [CC BY-SA 2.0], via (modified)

About the author

Ray Proper editor