HOME Kansai Kyoto Arashiyama, Uzumasa Top 10 Winter Illuminations in Kansai 2023-2024: A World Where Everything Glitters
Top 10 Winter Illuminations in Kansai 2023-2024: A World Where Everything Glitters

Top 10 Winter Illuminations in Kansai 2023-2024: A World Where Everything Glitters

Date published: 17 December 2019
Last updated: 14 November 2023

When visiting Osaka in winter, you can't miss the colorful illuminations that decorate the city! In the cold, clear winter air, sparkling lights shine even more beautifully.

Merging light, sound, and nature in satisfying and tasteful productions, these Kansai sensations are perfect for making memories just in time for the Christmas season.

1. Nesta Illumina: A Pathway of Light - Spectacular Shows (Nesta Resort Kobe, Hyogo)

Dancing Wall
Dancing Wall

Nesta Illumina - A Pathway of Light at Nesta Resort Kobe is an activity of light created through the integration with magnificent nature. Its illumination production, having received numerous awards, is highly acclaimed.

Upon entering, the first thing that catches your eye is the 'Dancing Wall', shimmering in rainbow colors. The illumination of approximately 3 million light bulbs shining amidst the grandeur of nature, along with music and projection mapping, creates a captivating fantasy of light.

Wonder Tunnel
Wonder Tunnel

The 'Wonder Tunnel (Journey of Light)' is a 220-meter-long tunnel of light, woven together with sound and illumination. It uses about one million full-color LED bulbs to create an enchanting, fantastical space.

Splendor of Nature's Seasons (Spring)
Splendor of Nature's Seasons (Spring)
Splendor of Nature's Seasons (Autumn)
Splendor of Nature's Seasons (Autumn)

"In the Splendor of Nature's Seasons," you can experience the awe-inspiring beauty woven by the four seasons amidst the radiant splendor of nature.

*Please note that due to maintenance, Nesta Lumina will be closed until the end of November 2023 (scheduled).

  • Nesta Resort Kobe
    • Address 894-60, Taruho, Hosokawa-cho, Miki, Hyogo 673-0703, Japan
    • Phone Number 0794-83-5000
    • ・Hours: 6 PM - 10 PM (last admission at 9 PM; opening hours vary depending on the season.)
      ・Admission: (Nesta Resort Kobe 1-Day Pass): Adults (junior high school students and older) 4,390 yen, Children (4 years old and older - elementary school students) 3,230 yen, Children under 3 years old free *Tax included
      ・Closed: Open daily

2. Festival of the lights in Osaka: Where every corner of the city of Osaka will twinkle with lights

Midosuji Illumination © Osaka Hikari no Feast Executive Committee
Midosuji Illumination © Osaka Hikari no Feast Executive Committee

The Osaka Festival of Lights 2023, an illumination event that brightens the city of Osaka with lights, is becoming a new tourist attraction in Osaka and is being held for the 11th time. Iconic locations such as Midosuji Street, the symbol of Osaka, Nakanoshima in the heart of the city's waterways, and various places throughout the prefecture will be illuminated.

One of the core programs, 'Midosuji Illumination', will see the approximately 4 kilometers stretch from Umeda to Namba sparkle with lights. This illumination will be on display from November 3, 2023 until December 31, 2024.

This year, the illumination will represent the 55-year history from the 1970 Japan World Exposition to the upcoming 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo. At various spots such as the 'Umeda Air Shaft,' the starting point of Midosuji, and 'Namba Square', the 'Landmark Laser'—a first in Japan—will be installed. These straight beams of laser light symbolize a connection to the future, representing 'light' that links past and upcoming events.

Additionally, the main illumination in the Nakanoshima area, which decorates the waterfront, is scheduled from December 14th to December 25th.

Furthermore, throughout the period, various locations across the prefecture are planned to be adorned with uniquely designed lighting programs.

  • Festival of the lights in Osaka
    • Address Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka City, Osaka, etc.
    • ・TEL: 06-4391-0120 (Osaka Feast of Lights Executive Committee Office)
      ・Period: From November 3, 2023 to December 31, 2023 (*Period and lighting hours vary according to location. Please check the official website for details.) 
      ・Admission: Free (some programs are charged)
      ・Closed: Open daily

3. Festa Luce: A Place to Meet the True Christmas
(Wakayama Marina City)

3. Festa Luce: A Place to Meet the True Christmas
(Wakayama Marina City)

The illumination event "Festa Luce - The Place Where You Meet the True Christmas" at Wakayama Marina City will be held from November 3, 2023, to February 12, 2024. It offers an atmosphere reminiscent of spending Christmas in Europe.

The theme for the 7th year in 2023 is "Light Parade!!". The Castle Projection Mapping, featuring a castle for the first time since 2019, makes a comeback, introducing a spectacular castle illumination display.

Inside the venue, where sparkling lights create a welcoming atmosphere, music concerts on stage and street performances will significantly enhance the Christmas spirit. The excitement of counting down to Christmas and the joy of Christmas day itself can be fully experienced.

Additionally, with photo spots and atrium street projection mapping, as you walk through the venue, it will feel like a trip into the Christmas world of a storybook.

  • Festa Luce
    • Address 1527 Mekimi, Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture, 641-0014, Japan
    • ・TEL: 073-484-3618 (Festa Luce Executive Committee Office)
      ・Period: November 3, 2023 - February 12, 2024 (*Open only on weekends and holidays during the following period: January 9, 2024 - February 12, 2024)
      ・Hours: 5 PM - 9 PM (Attractions close. Last admission at 8:30 PM.) Last admission 8:30 PM) (*Saturdays in November and December, and December 24 - 25: 5 PM - 10 PM (last admission 9:30 PM))
      Same-day tickets: Adults 1,800 yen, Children (3 years old and up to junior high school students) 1,000 yen
      Advance tickets: Adults 1,600 yen, Children (3 years old and up, junior high school student and under) 800 yen *Attractions are not included in the price.
      Attraction Night Pass (unlimited rides on 8 attractions) for adults, students and children (ages 3 and up): Advance tickets 1,800 yen, day-of-performance tickets 1,600 yen (all tax included)

4. Rosan Berry Tawada Rosan Illumi Final: One of Kansai's Largest Illuminations (Shiga)

4. Rosan Berry Tawada Rosan Illumi Final: One of Kansai's Largest Illuminations (Shiga)

From October 7, 2023, to February 12, 2024, the Kansai region's largest-scale illumination event will be held at the "English Garden Rose & Berry Tawada," a multi-purpose tourist facility in Maibara City, Shiga Prefecture. Initially started with the hope of reviving tourist spots during the COVID-19 pandemic, "Rosan Illumi - The Hill of Radiant Light" will be concluding its final run in 2023.

Spanning a vast 60,000 square meter area, this natural-style illumination features about one million LED lights. Given that it's the last year, the main area "The Silver Forest of Time" will undergo a renovation. A hundred trees, sparkling in silver, will make an appearance, and the central clock tower will start shining with LED lights in sync with the ringing of its bell, creating a fittingly grand finale.

In the "Galactic Railroad Area," embark on a journey across the galaxy aboard the Rosan Railway Milky Way. The area is filled with photo opportunities, including the Milky Way, Star Grape House, Star Lavender Field, and Golden Wheat Field.

Additionally, in the popular "Fairies' Garden of Light," areas like the "Miraculous Blue Rose" and the "Seven-Colored Prayer Tree," where visitors can enjoy the lighting experience, will also be featured.

Moreover, the 2023 addition to the facility, the "Candy Garden," will transform into a colorful spectacle. This unique illumination spot themed around the popular character "Shaun the Sheep" will also see new additions like a reindeer's red sleigh and Christmas-themed items, offering memorable photo opportunities.

  • Rosan Illumi Final - The Hill of Radiant Light
    ローザンイルミ~ひかり奏でる丘~ ファイナル
    • Address English Garden Rose & Berry Tawada, 605-10 Tawada, Maibara-shi, Shiga 521-0081
    • Phone Number 0749-54-2323
    • ・Period: October 7, 2023 - February 12, 2024 (scheduled)
      Open for 73 days, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays (daily in December), closed on Tuesdays, and closed during the year-end and New Year holidays.
      ・Hours: 5:30 PM to 9 PM
      Same-day tickets: Adults (junior high school students and older): 1,800 yen, Children (4 years and older): 1,100 yen
      Web advance tickets: Adults (junior high school students and older) 1,700 yen, children (4 years and older) 1,000 yen,
      Children under 3 years old are free of charge.
      Priority for admission is given to those who make reservations in advance via the website.
      Special Christmas price on 2/23 - 25 only. For details, please visit the website.

5. GRAND WISH CHRISTMAS 2023: Joyful Winter - Featuring a 12-Meter Tall Tree (Osaka)


In April 2023, Grand Front Osaka, a mall in Umeda, Osaka, celebrated its 10th anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, the Christmas event "GRAND WISH CHRISTMAS 2023 - Joyful Winter" will be held from November 9 to December 25.

©2023 The LEGO Group.
©2023 The LEGO Group.

Additionally, in conjunction with this celebration, collaborative events will also be held. These include the "LEGO® Holiday Festival in Grand Front Osaka," a favorite among children, and the "Champagne Gold Illumination," where the trees lining the nearby Umekita Plaza will shine in a champagne gold color.


The highlight is undoubtedly the "Joyful-Go-Round Tree," a gigantic Christmas tree about 12 meters tall, inspired by a merry-go-round and located in the "Knowledge Plaza" on the 1st floor of the North Building.

The tree is designed to be a photo spot from all angles, not just the front. Visitors can enter inside the tree or view it from the upper floors for various enjoyable experiences. Additionally, the central part of the tree rotates, and at certain times, visitors can also enjoy a Lighting Show.

  • GRAND WISH CHRISTMAS 2023 -Joyful Winter-
    GRAND WISH CHRISTMAS 2023 ~Joyful Winter~
    • Address 4-20 Ohfuka-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0011, Osaka, Japan Grand Front Osaka North Wing, South Wing, Umekita Plaza, etc.
    • ・Date & Time: November 9, 2023 - December 25, 2023 *Lighting show: 4 PM - midnight on weekdays, 3 PM - midnight on weekends and holidays.
      ・Admission: Free

6. Wonder Night Hill 2023: One of Minami Osaka's Biggest Illuminations! (Minami Osaka)

6. Wonder Night Hill 2023: One of Minami Osaka's Biggest Illuminations! (Minami Osaka)

An illumination event will be held at "Sakai Green Museum Harvest Hill," an experiential agricultural park in Sakai, Osaka. The event will run from October 28, 2023, to January 28, 2024, allowing visitors to experience the illuminations amidst the rich natural surroundings of autumn and winter.

In this event, utilizing the expansive "Town Area" of Harvest Hill, there will be a variety of unique areas, including "Illumination Trees" adorned on 20-meter tall Sequoia trees. Additionally, there will be illuminations featuring giant mammoths and insect robots, each area offering its own distinctive charm.

In the "Ice Age of Light" area, just past the entrance gate, a world reminiscent of the glacial period is recreated. Here, visitors will find adorable moving animal-shaped illuminations, including rainbow-colored reindeer, and animated penguins, polar bears, and mammoths.

Furthermore, in the "Giant Tree Plaza," a massive yamamomo (Japanese bayberry) tree will be brilliantly lit up with illuminations. Additionally, the "Candy Road," decorated with colorful candy-like lights on trees, and four other areas, offer plenty to see and enjoy.

  • Wonder Night Hill 2023
    Wonder Night Hill 2023
    • Address Sakai Green Museum, Harvest Hill, 2405-1 Hachigemineji, Minami-ku, Sakai City, Osaka, Japan
    • Phone Number 072-296-9911
    • ・Period: October 28, 2023 - January 28, 2024 on selected days
      ・Hours: 5:45 PM to 9 PM (last admission at 8:30 PM)
      ・Admission: Adults (junior high school students and older) 1,500 yen, Children (4 years and older) 800 yen. Admission ticket to Harvest Hill is required.

7. Illumination in the Sky 2023: Enjoy the feeling of space (Osaka)

© Kintetsu Real Estate, Inc.
© Kintetsu Real Estate, Inc.

At Abeno Harukas, a landmark of Osaka, the "Illumination in the Sky" event will be held from November 3, 2023, to February 29, 2024.

This annual winter event will feature various spots within the facility, such as the 2nd-floor outer deck and the 16th-floor outdoor garden, all sparkling with illuminations.

© Kintetsu Real Estate, Inc.
© Kintetsu Real Estate, Inc.
© Kintetsu Real Estate, Inc.
© Kintetsu Real Estate, Inc.

The 2nd-floor outer deck is themed around "SPACE" and is adorned with colorful illuminations. As visitors stroll through this area, they will be immersed in a space that evokes the feeling of a cosmic journey. In a section of the 16th-floor outdoor garden, a "Dome of Light," inspired by a shooting star descending into the garden, will be installed, creating an ambiance akin to being enveloped in stars.

  • Illumination in the Sky 2023
    • Address Abeno Harukas, 1-1-43 Abeno-suji, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-6016, Japan
    • ・Date and time: November 3, 2023 - February 29, 2024
      ・Lighting hours: Varies according to location
      ・Admission: Free (*Some areas require a fee)

8. Osaka Castle Illuminage: Tracing Osaka's History with Lights

©Illuminage Secretariat
©Illuminage Secretariat
©Illuminage Secretariat
©Illuminage Secretariat
©Illuminage Secretariat
©Illuminage Secretariat

The "Osaka Castle Illuminage" will be held in the Nishinomaru Garden of Osaka Castle from November 22, 2023, to February 25, 2024, with a theme centered around Osaka and the Kansai region.

The theme for 2023 is "Osaka Historical Illumination - Come and See All of OSAKA," showcasing the passage of time from the Warring States period to the present with about 3.5 million lights. The illumination also features Osaka's unique aspects, such as the deep streets of Shinsekai, Tsutenkaku, and the famous takoyaki, offering a remarkable sight.

In addition, there will be attractions-like illuminations, including a glowing seesaw and a ninja-running illumination that activates as you run in front of it, providing fun for both children and adults.

Another highlight is taking photos with the collaboration of Osaka's symbol, "Osaka Castle Tenshukaku," and the illuminations.

  • Osaka Castle Illuminage 2023
    • Address Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden, Osaka Castle 2, Chuo-ku, Osaka 540-0002, Japan
    • Phone Number 066-452-6452
    • ・Period: November 22, 2023 - February 25, 2024
      ・Lighting hours: 5 PM - 10 PM (Admission until 9:30 PM) *Lighting starts at 5:30 PM
      ・Admission: Adults (junior high school students and older): 1,500 yen, elementary school students and younger: 800 yen

9. Sagano Romantic Train: The Fantasy Train of Lights - From Autumn Leaves to the Christmas Season (Kyoto)

© Sagano Kanko Railway Co.
© Sagano Kanko Railway Co.

During the autumn foliage season, which attracts tourists from around the world to Kyoto, the "Sagano Romantic Train" running from Arashiyama's Sagano to Kameoka offers a chance to enjoy illuminated autumn leaves from October 14 to December 29.

In 2023, as the "Fantasy Train of Light," the illumination will be enhanced more than in previous years. The "Torokko Hozukyo Station" will be decorated with raccoons, the station building, and a carillon tower in lights, offering a dazzling view from the train windows.

© Sagano Kanko Railway Co.
© Sagano Kanko Railway Co.
© Sagano Kanko Railway Co.
© Sagano Kanko Railway Co.

Additionally, for two days on December 23 and 24, the special "Christmas Romantic Train" will operate on a unique schedule. Unlike the usual route, it will be a special round-trip to "Torokko Hozukyo Station," allowing passengers to enjoy not only the trackside decorations but also the illuminations at the remote station. Advance reservations are required for this special event, so those wishing to enjoy a unique Christmas illumination experience should definitely check it out.

  • Sagano Romantic Train "Illumination Fantasy"
    • Address Saga Tenryuji Kurumamido-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 616-8373, Japan
    • ・TEL: 075-861-7444 (8:40 AM to 4:40 PM)
      ・Period: Every day from October 14 to December 29, 2023, except for the days when the service is suspended (October 18, 25, December 6, 13, 20, and 27)
      ・Lighting hours: From 4:30 PM until the last train, "Christmas Romantic Train" is available from 4:10 PM to 4:50 PM
      ・Fare: Adults 880 yen (12 years old and older), Children 440 yen (6 years old and older but under 12 years old) *For infants (1 year old and older but under 6 years old) and babies (under 1 year old) who use a seat, 440 yen is required; for "Christmas Romantic Train" one box (1 to 4 people) 6,000 yen

10. NAKED YORUMOUDE 2023 Heian Jingu Shrine: New nighttime experience unique to nighttime! (Kyoto)

10. NAKED YORUMOUDE 2023 Heian Jingu Shrine: New nighttime experience unique to nighttime! (Kyoto)

From December 1 - 25, Kyoto's nationally designated important cultural property, Heian Shrine, will be illuminated with projection mapping and lantern lights in the event "NAKED Yorumode 2023 Heian Shrine."

NAKED Yorimode is a new form of nighttime visitation created by the creative company NAKED, INC. This marks its third installment, and this year, an interactive art installation called the "Corridor of Light" will adorn the long walkway of the important cultural property, the Daigokuden, which is usually off-limits. Colorful lantern lights will illuminate the path.

Additionally, there are other highlights such as the illumination of the nationally designated important cultural property, Otenmon gate, and the lighting of the precincts. You can also enjoy projection mapping and autumn foliage lighting at Tohshin'en and Shobi-kan. In the interactive art experience for visitors called "NAKED Distance Chochin®︎," you can hold a paper lantern while walking around, and various lights will be projected, making you a part of the light art itself.

  • NAKED YORUMOUDE 2023 Heian Jingu Shrine
    NAKEDヨルモウデ 2023 平安神宮
    • Address 97 Okazaki Nishitenno-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8341, Japan
    • ・Period: December 1 - 25, 2023
      ・Hours: 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM (last admission at 8:50 PM)
      ・Ticket prices (tax included):
      Early Bird Ticket (Monday-Thursday) Junior high school students and older: 1,600 yen Elementary school students: 1,000 yen
      (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays) Junior high school students and older: 2,000 yen Elementary school students: 1,400 yen
      Same-day tickets (Monday-Thursday) Junior high school students and older: 1,600 yen
      (Monday-Thursday) Junior high school students and older: 2,000 yen Elementary school students: 1,200 yen
      (Friday, Weekends, Holidays) Junior high school students and older: 2,400 yen Elementary school students: 1,600 yen

Illumination events are held throughout various famous locations in the Kansai region. These annual events, which feature increasingly elaborate displays of light, are eagerly anticipated by many. Witness the breathtaking spectacle as nature and cityscapes are adorned with enchanting and fantastical beauty through the radiance of lights.

(Info as of Nov 2023. Changes in duration, timing, cancellations or alterations may occur. Check official websites for updates. Images for illustration only.)

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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