HOME Kansai Osaka Umeda, Osaka Station, Kitashinchi Top 6 Winter Illuminations in Kansai 2021-22: A World Where Everything Glitters!
Top 6 Winter Illuminations in Kansai 2021-22: A World Where Everything Glitters!

Top 6 Winter Illuminations in Kansai 2021-22: A World Where Everything Glitters!

Date published: 17 December 2019
Last updated: 30 November 2021

When visiting in winter, you can't miss the colorful Osaka 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.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Endless Stunning Displays At “NESTA Illumina ~Light Promenade~” (Kobe Illumination)
  2. 2. Illuminations of Historical-Cultural Heritage and Nature in Saga and Arashiyama at “Arashiyama Hanatouro” (Kyoto Illumination)
  3. 3. The Streets of Osaka Glitter at the “Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2021” (Osaka Illumination)
  4. 4. Experience A "Swiss Festival" At This Light Festival (Wakayama Illumination)
  5. 5. The Largest Scale Light Show in Kansai "Rosa Illumi 2021 -Hikari Kanaderu Oka-" (Shiga Illumination)
  6. 6. "Hanabun Thanksgiving Illumination: Traveling Rabbit and Land of Light" - The largest scale illumination in South Osaka

1. Endless Stunning Displays At “NESTA Illumina ~Light Promenade~” (Kobe Illumination)

1. Endless Stunning Displays At “NESTA Illumina ~Light Promenade~” (Kobe Illumination)
Dancing Wall

Witness how the magnificent natural environment is blended seamlessly into a light show at the “Nesta Illumina ~Light Promenade~” event. Held at Nesta Resort Kobe, this illumination show is well-received and has won numerous awards to boot.

Right at the entrance, visitors are greeted by a rainbow-colored “Dancing Wall,” where around 3 million decorative lights sparkle among nature. Combined with music and projection mapping, the resulting illumination creates a fantasy of lights that is nothing short of eye-catching.

Wonder Tunnel

Spanning a total of 220 meters, the “Wonder Tunnel” is where light and music are interwoven. Around one million full color LED lights are used to create this magical, fairytale-like space.

Fantasy Lagoon

The Fantasy Lagoon area is where “The Legend of Iguazu Falls” unfolds. This complex production is a first in Japan, relying not on lights, but on water screen projections, special mist effects, and audio equipment.

Nature of the Four Seasons (Summer)
Nature of the Four Seasons (Autumn)

Nature of the Four Seasons” is making its appearance once again, having reopened since Friday, August 20, 2020 following the completion of its renovation. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the four seasons here, where nature is filled with glittering lights.

Health & Safety Measures
All visitors are required to put on a mask and undergo temperature screening. Visitors who are unwell will be barred from entering the premises. Social distancing will also be enforced.

  • Nesta Resort Kobe
    ネスタリゾート神戸
    • Address Taruho-894-60 Hosokawacho, Miki, Hyogo-ken 673-0703
    • Phone Number 0794-83-5000
    • ・Hours: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (last admission 9:00 p.m.)
      ・Admission: 1 Day Pass (admission to Nesta Resort Kobe), Adults (junior high school students and older): 4,180 yen, Children (4 years and older to elementary school students): 3,080 yen, Children 3 years and younger: free *Tax included
      ・Closed: Open daily.

    Vacancy search, reservation

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

2. Illuminations of Historical-Cultural Heritage and Nature in Saga and Arashiyama at “Arashiyama Hanatouro” (Kyoto Illumination)

2. Illuminations of Historical-Cultural Heritage and Nature in Saga and Arashiyama at “Arashiyama Hanatouro” (Kyoto Illumination)
Togetsukyo Bridge illuminated ©Photo courtesy of Kyoto Hanatouro Promotion Council

Well regarded as a symbol of winter in Kyoto, “Arashiyama Hanatouro” is returning this year as a limited-time event from December 10 - 19, 2021.

By illuminating the scenic nature by the waterfront and historical cultural heritage sites like temples and shrines, the event is staging a different kind of beauty from that in the day.

Arashiyama illuminated ©Photo courtesy of Kyoto Hanatouro Promotion Council

The foot of the mountain near Togetsukyo Bridge as well as the waterfront are also brightly lit up for this event. Visitors will find themselves attracted to the magnificent and beautiful night-time nature scenery that is reflected even onto the surface of the river.

Light and Blossoms Pathway ©Photo courtesy of Kyoto Hanatouro Promotion Council
Flower Arrangement Promenade ©Photo courtesy of Kyoto Hanatouro Promotion Council

Enjoy the artistry and techniques behind the colorful and spectacular flowers along the “Flower Arrangement Promenade,” where large flower arrangements are showcased in large vases in multiple spots.

The “Bamboo Forest Walkway” from Nonomiya Shrine leading to Ōkōchi Sansō Garden is usually a popular spot for illumination viewing, garnering many visitors every year.

Health & Safety Measures
Visitors will be required to wear masks. Visitors who are unwell will be barred from entering the premises. Visitors are to sanitize their hands thoroughly. Social distancing will also be enforced.

  • KYOTO ARASHIYAMA HANATOURO 2021
    京都・嵐山花灯路-2021
    • Address Ukyo-ku and Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto (approximate location)
    • ・Hours: Light up available from December 10 - 19, 2021 between 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (regardless of rain or shine)
      ・Admission: Strolling around is free but separate admission charges apply

3. The Streets of Osaka Glitter at the “Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2021” (Osaka Illumination)

3. The Streets of Osaka Glitter at the “Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2021” (Osaka Illumination)
Midōsuji Illuminations © Festival of the Lights in OSAKA Executive Committee Office

An illumination event that colors Osaka's city with bright lights, the "Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2021" is becoming a new tourist attraction in Osaka and is in its eighth iteration this year.

This Osaka light festival covers a range of locations, including Midōsuji, the main street of Osaka and Nakanoshima, a sandbank symbolic to Osaka, also known as the 'city of water.'

In one of the core programs known as "Midōsuji Illuminations," approximately four kilometers from Umeda to Naniwa will be lit up from November 3 to December 31, 2021.

Held at Nakanoshima, a symbol of the city of water, Osaka, is another core program called "OSAKA Hikari Renaissance." Here, by the power of projection mapping and timed light shows, the Osaka Central Public Hall is transformed into a breathtaking piece of artwork.

Plus, enjoy other Osaka light festival shows here that make the most out of the waterfront scenery. The main illuminations in the Nakanoshima area will be available from December 14 - 25.

OSAKA Hikari Renaissance Nakanoshima Illumination Street © Festival of the Lights in OSAKA Executive Committee Office

Other unique illumination events will be held at various locations around the prefecture during this period, so be sure to check them out as well!

  • Festival of the Lights in OSAKA 2021
    大阪・光の饗宴2021
    • Address Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka City, Osaka, etc.
    • ・Period: November 3, 2021 – January 31, 2022
      (*The event period and light-up timings will vary depending on the location. Please check the official website for more details.)
      ・Admission: Free (Admission charges apply for part of the programs.)
      ・Closed: Open daily

4. Experience A "Swiss Festival" At This Light Festival (Wakayama Illumination)

4. Experience A "Swiss Festival" At This Light Festival (Wakayama Illumination)

Wakayama Marina City's illumination event "Festa Luce ~A True Christmas Encounter~" is currently held from November 3, 2021 to February 14, 2022.

With "happy holiday" as its theme, this event is where you can enjoy the atmosphere of celebrating Christmas in Europe.

Relish in the excitement of counting down towards Christmas or swing by on the actual day to fully immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit here. In addition to illuminations that have been upgraded compared to before, there are also photo spots and atrium street projection mappings to enjoy. At this event, visitors will be transported into a different world for a fairytale-like Christmas.

Health & Safety Measures
Visitors are required to wear masks and undergo temperature screening. Admissions may be restricted. Visitors who are unwell will be barred from entering the premises. Admission tickets must be purchased in advance from the Pass Market or the convenience store. Social distancing will be enforced. Crowd levels can be checked on the home page.

  • WAKAYAMA MARINA CITY
    和歌山マリーナシティ
    • Address 1527 Kemi, Wakayama, 641-0014
    • ・Period: November 3, 2021 - February 14, 2022
      (*Only open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays during the following period: January 4 - February 13)
      ・Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Last admission at 8:30 p.m.)
      ・Price: Day ticket: Adults 1,500 yen, Students (high school age and older) 750 yen, Children (junior high school age and younger) free; Advance ticket: Adults 1,300 yen, Students (high school age and older) 650 yen, Children (junior high school age and younger) free.
      ・Attraction Night Pass (unlimited rides on 8 attractions): 1,600 yen (for adults and children over 3 years old, available only on weekends and holidays) (All tax included)

5. The Largest Scale Light Show in Kansai "Rosa Illumi 2021 -Hikari Kanaderu Oka-" (Shiga Illumination)

5. The Largest Scale Light Show in Kansai "Rosa Illumi 2021 -Hikari Kanaderu Oka-" (Shiga Illumination)

One of the largest illumination events in the Kansai area is running from October 8, 2021 to February 14, 2022, at the English Garden Rosa & Berry Tawada in Maibara City in Shiga Prefecture. Within the extensive site measuring 60,000 square meters, around 1 million LED lights have been lit up to create an immersive experience for all visitors.

Comprising four main zones, the event space is scattered with projection mappings and various light show performances. With just one step into the premises, visitors will find themselves lost in a beautiful light painting.

Milky Way Rose Garden

In the "Milky Way Railway" area, embark on a journey onboard the Rozen Railway Milky Way through the galaxy. There are also many photo spots such as the Milky Way, star grape houses, star lavender fields and golden wheat fields.

The Fairy Garden, A Village in Which Fairies Live

In the "Fairy Garden," found in the Rozen Railway Milky Way's depths, you are greeted by glittering, dancing fairies. In this zone, visitors can also get to witness the "Miraculous Blue Roses" that are said to only bloom once every hundred years.

However, they will only bloom if certain conditions are fulfilled. And those conditions are...? Find out here at the "Fairy Garden."

Shaun the Sheep Farm Garden © 2020 Aardman Animations Limited and Studiocanal SAS

In 2019, the world's first themed area with the theme of British clay animation Shaun the Sheep was established at Rosa & Berry Tawada. The third zone after the fairy garden is the "Shaun the Sheep Farm Garden," which glitters adorably.

Illuminated by warm and comforting lights, the world of A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon will open up before your eyes, complete with Shaun the Sheep! Visitors can also enjoy the breathtaking night view of Shiga from top of the hill here.

Health & Safety Measures
Shops and facilities are disinfected. Sanitizers are provided. Ventilation in shops is ensured. Acrylic boards have been set up around the cashier. Staff are required to wear masks and gloves as well as be in good health. Regulations concerning the number of people in shops as well as the distance between seats have been put in place. Admissions and reservations have been limited. Visitors who are unwell will be barred from entering shops. Visitors are required to wear masks, undergo temperature screening and adhere to social distancing guidelines, etc.

  • Rosa & Berry Tawada Illumination 2021
    ローザンイルミ2021
    • Address English Garden Rosa & Berry, Tawada 605-10 Tawada, Maibara-shi, Shiga 521-0081
    • Phone Number 0749-54-2323
    • ・Open: October 8, 2021 - February 14, 2022
      (*Closed every Tuesday) 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (*Subject to change depending on the season.)
      ・Nighttime fee: Adults (junior high school students and older) 1,600 yen, children (4 years and older) 1,000 yen, children 3 years and younger free (*Advance reservations via the website are preferred, tax included.)

6. "Hanabun Thanksgiving Illumination: Traveling Rabbit and Land of Light" - The largest scale illumination in South Osaka

6. "Hanabun Thanksgiving Illumination: Traveling Rabbit and Land of Light" - The largest scale illumination in South Osaka

From October 16, 2021 to February 14, 2022, the interactive event "Hanabun Thanksgiving Illumination: Traveling Rabbit and Land of Light" will be held in the Osaka Prefectural Garden of Flowers (Kawachinagano City, Osaka Prefecture).

The event is the largest of its kind in South Osaka, with 300,000 LED lights, with the aim of revitalizing Osaka and lifting up the spirits of everyone.

Thanks Spot

This year's theme is "Traveling Rabbit and the Land of Light" and consists of 8 unique areas, where you can search for the traveling rabbit brothers scattered throughout the areas to complete "words of thanks". The completed form can be given to your loved ones at the "Thanks Spot" located at the final stop, Golden Road.

Why not express your gratitude to your loved ones surrounded by beautiful music, flowers and lights?

The "City of Beginning and End" is a decorative flowerbed that appears just past the entrance gate. You can enjoy the interplay of illuminated flowers and full-color LED flowers. Here you'll also be greeted by a rainbow of white roses and cherry blossom-colored illuminations - and even snap photos to make it look like you are wearing a glowing dress!

The "Rakushi-no-Hana-butai" is a stage where you can enjoy a gorgeous performance of sound and light using the latest technology. Guests will also perform on the stage, which will be full of realism and excitement.

At the "Manpuku Plaza," you'll find a market area where you can get in the mood for traveling. There are several kitchen cars lined up, and you can enjoy eating and drinking while gazing at the illumination.

The "Ancient City of the Deep Sea" offers a fantastic space where you can feel as if you are lost in the deep sea. The crowd of about 5,000 glowing sea moons is a sight to behold.

  • Hanabun Thanksgiving Illumination: Traveling Hare and the Land of Light
    はなぶんサンクスイルミ ~旅うさぎと光の国~
    • Address 2292-1 Takamukai, Kawachinagano-shi, Osaka 586-0036, Japan
    • ・Period: Saturday, October 16, 2021 - Monday, February 14, 2022 (tentative)
      ・November and December: Open every day October, January, and February: Open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays *Closed for the year-end and New Year holidays (Dec. 31 - Jan. 3)
      ・Hours: 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (last admission at 8:30 p.m.)
      ・Night admission: Adults (junior high school students and older): 1,500 yen, children (4 years and older): 800 yen, children 3 years and younger: free

The Kansai area is packed with illumination events held in various well-known locations. With improvements made to these events' content each year, these banquets of lights receive continuous upgrades. They are now events that many people look forward to every year. With illuminations adorning nature, streets and historical buildings, a kind of magical beauty is drawn out, creating incredibly stunning scenes that will become unforgettable memories for all.

*Please note that there may be changes in the period and time of the event, cancellation, or changes in the contents depending on the situation. Please check the official website for the latest information before you go.
*Photos are for reference only. They may differ from the actual ones.

Written by:

WESTPLAN

WESTPLAN

Kiko Matsuda, Keiko Kimura, Risa Tsuji, and a team of female writers familiar with Kansai. We love eating, drinking and traveling! We share fun information based on our experiences.

*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.

Share this article.

Recommended articles for first-time visitors to Kansai
Search