There is no doubt that there are many beautiful illuminations in Tokyo, but if you have time and are interested in checking some other exceptional and huge-scale illuminations outside of the city, here are 10 incredible illumination day trips from Tokyo for you to enjoy with your family, friends and loved ones. Some of these illuminations are the biggest there has ever been so make sure not to miss out this year. 

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Check out what to do in Winter, best illuminations in Tokyo, best illuminations in Japan, illumination day trips, best ski resorts, winter festivals, best onsen spots and ways to escape the cold in winter in Japan.

There is no doubt that there are many beautiful light displays and festive shows in Tokyo. Still, if you have time and are interested in checking other exceptional and huge-scale illuminations outside of the city, here are ten incredible illumination day trips from Tokyo for you to enjoy with your family, friends, and loved ones. Some of these illuminations are the biggest there has ever been, so make sure to take advantage of this year. 🤩

The “Three Major Illuminations in Kanto” can be reached on a day trip from the Tokyo metropolitan area and can only be witnessed in winter. A stroll in the moonlight, surrounded by brilliant illuminations of light, is sure to be a happy memory. 

The Enoshima Shonan no Shokubetsu (Jewel of Shonan)” in Kanagawa Prefecture is a stunning light show from the Enoshima Observation Deck. Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture, another of the main light displays, showcases realistic flower illuminations. Lastly, ”Lake Sagami Illumination” in Kanagawa Prefecture, combines the senses and invites visitors to enjoy the illuminations while interacting with it.

In this issue, we will summarise the features and highlights of the three facilities selected as one of the three major illumination sites in the Kanto region.

“Three Greatest Illuminations in Kanto”

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Three Greatest Illuminations in Kanto
Credit: The Gate

The “Three Greatest Illuminations in Kanto” were established in 2012 to promote the sense of happiness that illuminations bring. They are the first illumination brands in Japan founded by the Nightscape Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The three major illumination brands in Kanto are selected by nightscape appraisers who hold the Nightscape Appraiser Certificate. Five thousand eight hundred eighty nightscape photographers chose the Kanto Three Great Illuminations for 2020.

The three facilities selected for the Kanto Triple Illumination are “Enoshima: Jewel of Shonan” in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, “Ashikaga Flower Park” in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, and “Lake Sagamihara Illumination” in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. This section introduces the features and highlights of each of these illuminations.

1. Enoshima “Jewel of Shonan” Illumination in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Enoshima “Jewel of Shonan”
Credit: Kanagawa Prefectural Government

Since being recognized as one of the three most popular illuminations in the Kanto region in 2012, the Enoshima “Jewel of Shonan” Illumination in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, has been attracting attention as a major winter event.

The most distinctive feature of the illumination is the grand scale of the night view, with the Enoshima Sea Candle, a lighthouse with an observation deck that has become a familiar symbol of Shonan, and the entire island serving as the illumination site.

Visitors can climb up to the observation deck during the illumination event to enjoy the night view of Enoshima with the glowing illumination below.

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Enoshima Jewel of Shonan 23

At the main venue, the Botanical Garden and Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden, a chandelier gate and tunnel made of 70,000 Swarovski crystal beads twinkle under a moonlit sky.

The yacht harbour is also be decorated with beautiful lights and illuminations, offering a one-of-a-kind night view that can only be seen here.

Taking advantage of Shonan’s warm weather, which is sunny even in winter, as many as 20,000 tulips can be seen at the Samuel Cocking Garden, the leading site of the festival, from mid-December to late January. It is truly a luxury to see spring-blooming tulips in the cold winter.

The tulips are lit at night, creating a dreamy atmosphere different from the daytime.

Jewel of Shonan Event Information

  • Event name: Jewel of Shonan – A festival of light and colour that adorns Enoshima
  • Dates:*Not yet scheduled for 2022
  • Night hours: 17:30 – 20:00 (last admission at 19:30)
  • Enoshima Observation Lighthouse admission: Adults 500 yen / Children 250 yen

2. Ashikaga Flower Park “Flower Garden of Light,” in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Ashikaga Flower Park “Flower Garden of Light,”
Credit: Ashikaga City Tourism Association

Ashikaga Flower Park has been ranked No. 1 in Japan for five consecutive years for its “Garden of Light” illumination. It is one of the most famous illuminations in Japan and has been selected as one of the three most popular illuminations in Japan, along with “Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Light” in Nagasaki Prefecture and “Sapporo White Illumination” in Hokkaido.

Ashikaga Flower Park, commonly known as the Flower Park, is a place where you can enjoy the flowers of the season. Nearly all of the more than 5 million illuminated bulbs use LEDs, making it an environmentally friendly place to visit.

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Ashikaga Flower Park “Flower Garden of Light,” 2
Credit: ミムラ姉

In order to faithfully reproduce the beauty of flowers in the illuminations, the people who manage the flowers and trees in the flower park are mainly involved in the planning and production of the lighting at Ashikaga Flower Park.

The “Kiseki no Ootou,” a famous illumination at Ashikaga Flower Park, is also a representation of the beauty of the actual Ootou, with attention paid to the details of the petals. This light exhibition, which beautifully reproduces the beauty of the giant wisteria that blooms in spring, is a spectacular sight that can only be seen at Ashikaga Flower Park.

The “Earth for Everyone” illumination uses the water’s surface to double the amount of light emitted, creating a mesmerising space. The display’s theme is that all living creatures are one on earth.

Ashikaga Flower Park Event Information

  • Event name: Flower Garden of Light
  • Period: October 15, 2022 (Sat) ~ February 14, 2023 (Tue)
  • Lighting hours: 16:30 – 20:30 (until 21:00 on weekends and holidays)
  • Admission fee: Adults 1,200 yen / Children 600 yen
  • Closed: December 31 (Fri.) 

3. Lake Sagami Illumination in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Lake Sagami Illumination in Sagamihara City
Credit: Primolily

Lake Sagamiami Illumination offers one of the largest illumination displays in the Kanto region at 6 million light bulbs in the 40,000㎡ vast park. The overwhelming scale of the illumination attracts many visitors.

An exciting feature of this light show is that you can view the illumination while “experiencing” it. In other words, you can interact with the lights, playing with the human senses. For instance, the “Rainbow Lift,” allows visitors to enjoy the seven-colour light show from the top of a lift, gazing at the night attractions such as a mini-coaster that runs amidst the lights, and illumination that shines brightly in conjunction with music. Using all five senses, you can see, hear, touch, and thoroughly enjoy the light displays.

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Lake Sagami Illumination in Sagamihara City 2
Credit: WalkerPlus

There are also photo spots throughout the park where you can take pictures with the illuminations, so be sure to look for them. It is sure to be an excellent place for couples to go on a date, as well as for visiting with family and friends.

Lake Sagami Resort Pleasure Forest, where Lake Sagami Illumination is held, has an amusement park and a place to enjoy barbecues, making it a fun facility for children and adults.

It is recommended to purchase a free pass to Pleasure Forest during the daytime to enjoy the night attractions and Illumination for free.

Lake Sagami Illumination Event Information

  • Event name: Lake Sagami Illumination
  • Period: November 12, 2022 (Sat) – April 2, 2023 (Sun)
  • Closed: November 24, every Wednesday and Thursday from January 5 to March 16
  • *Open on February 23 and March 15
  • Hours of operation: 16:00 – 21:00
  • *Lighting hours vary depending on the season.
  • Admission: Adults (junior high school students and older, including seniors): 1,000 yen / Children (3 years old to elementary school students): 700 yen

Illumination events in Chiba

Tokyo German Village

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Tokyo German Village

Tokyo Deutschland Village, a famous theme park in Chiba Prefecture, is one of the best illumination spots in the Kanto region. The beauty of the illumination is genuinely breathtaking, so it is no surprise that it is one of the “three most beautiful illuminations in the Kanto region.”

The illumination of Tokyo Deutsche Mura begins at sunset. Within the vast 60,000 square metre world of light, the “Marktplatzplatz” square, surrounded by lovely Western-style buildings, is particularly lively. At certain times of the day, popular music is played in the courtyard, and you can enjoy a “light and sound show” in which the illumination around the square changes into various patterns in tune with the melody.

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Tokyo German Village 2
Credit: The Gate 12

The biggest highlight of Tokyo Deutsche Mura in winter is the “3D Illumination,” a terrestrial painting of light on a grand scale.

The “Rainbow Tunnel” and “3D Illumination,” which stretches approximately 70 metres in length, are spectacular. The “rainbow tunnel” is about 70 metres long, and the “3D illumination” is a sight to behold.

Details for the fiscal year 2022 will be announced at a later date.

Tokyo German Village

  • Address: 419 Nagayoshi, Sodegaura City, Chiba Prefecture
  • Access: Take a local bus from Sodegaura Station and get off at “Tokyo Deutschland Mura.”
  • Period: Friday, October 28, 2022 – Sunday, March 19, 2022
  • Lighting hours: Sunset – 20:00 (last admission at 19:30)

Illumination events in Kanagawa

Christmas Market in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Christmas Market in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
Credit: Travel Book

The Christmas Market is held every year in the outdoor event plaza of the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, a popular spot in Minatomirai. You can enjoy German gourmet foods and drinks, including glühwein, as well as German goods and Christmas goods for sale, creating an authentic German atmosphere in the market. At night, a giant Christmas tree and the illumination of the venue are lit up, creating a festive atmosphere.

  • Period/Date November 25 (Fri.) – December 25 (Sun.), 2022
  • Lighting hours: [Hours] Friday, December 9 – 11:00 – 21:00, Saturday, December 10 and thereafter – 11:00 – 22:00 *Friday, November 25: 17:00 – 21:00 (last order 30 minutes before the end of business)
  • [Light-up] 16:00 – until close of business, until 23:00 for the tree only.
  • Admission [Weekdays from November 25 (Fri.) to December 16 (Fri.)] Free
  • [Weekdays after Monday, December 19, and Saturdays and Sundays during the period] 500 yen (tax included) *Pre-reservations and online payment are required for pay days (details to be announced and reservations to begin around early November).
  • Food, drink, and merchandise sales fees are not included.
  • Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture

Yokohama Mirite

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Yokohama Mirite
Credit: NAKED, INC.

Hundreds of thousands of LED lights illuminate the area from Yokohama Station to Minato Mirai, making it one of the most famous illuminations in Yokohama City. Fantastic lights cover the 1.5 km length from the East Exit of Yokohama Station, through Grand Mall Park, Sakura-dori Avenue, and the Sailing Ship Nippon Maru. Also, from December 1-25, a street piano will appear in Grand Mall Park’s “Plaza of Fine Arts” (scheduled from 16:00 to 21:00).

  • Period/Date November 10, 2022 (Thursday) – February 12, 2023 (Sunday)
  • Lighting hours: 16:00 – 23:00 (Sakura Street until 22:00, subject to change in some areas) *Scheduled to be extended until 24:00 on December 3 and 10.
  • Admission Free
  • Place: Yokohama Station East Exit – Sakura Street, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture

Miyagase Christmas Party for Everyone -Miyagase Light Fairy Tale

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Miyagase Christmas Party for Everyone
Credit: Mick’s Janitor’s Blog via Livedoor Blog

This Christmas event is held yearly in the Miyagase lakeside area in Kanagawa Prefecture. The famous jumbo Christmas tree is over 30 metres tall and is embellished with approximately 10,000 lights. The promenade of the Mizunogo shopping street is also decorated with illuminations, transforming the entire area around Lake Miyagase into a fairy-tale world of lights. This year, for the first time in three years, the illumination of the suspension bridge will also be turned on.

  • Period/Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022 – Sunday, December 25, 2022
  • Lighting hours: 17:00 – 22:00
  • Admission: Free (toll will be charged for passage over the suspension bridge at night)
  • Venue Kiyokawa-mura, Aiko-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture Miyagase lakeside, Miyagase Suisinosato shopping street

Yokohama Amerika-yama Park Illumination

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Yokohama Amerika-yama Park Illumination

Amerika-yama Park is a high-ground park located at the top of an escalator directly connected to Yokohama’s Motomachi-Chukagai Station. The enchanting garden with seasonal flowers transforms into a sparkling playground of lights in winter.

This illumination has become a winter tradition. Under the title of “Sweet Memory in Americasan Park,” the park is decorated with festive lights. The park is directly connected to the station, making it an excellent spot for a casual drop-in. (*Photographs are from before 2017)

Americasan Park

  • Address: 97-1 Yamate-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Access: Motomachi-Chukagai Station (Yokohama); use the escalator directly connected to the station
  • Period: Friday, November 25, 2022 – Sunday, February 26, 2023 

Sea Paradise Christmas

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Sea Paradise Christmas
Credit: Hamakore Yokohama

Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, one of the largest aquariums in Japan, is holding a Christmas event, “Sea Paradise Christmas.” Under the theme of “A Christmas Present from Sea Paradise,” Christmas-like events will be held only during this period. Don’t miss out on the “Super Sardine Illusion – Christmas version” and a fantastic dolphin show.

*Availability of the event in 2022 has yet to be determined.

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

  • Address: Hakkeijima, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama City
  • Access: Hakkeijima Station on the Seaside Line
  • Period: November 13, 2021 (Sat) – December 25, 2021 (Sat) 

Yokosuka “Kurihama Hananokuni” Winter Illumination

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Yokosuka “Kurihama Hananokuni”

Kurihama Hananokuni in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, a popular flower spot with poppies in spring and cosmos in autumn, is also famous for its winter illumination. The park is rich in greenery, making use of the natural terrain, but the radiant lights can be seen in the square in front of the cosmos, poppy garden, and Adventure Land.

Winter Illuminations in front of Cosmos Square are usually held in December. About 120,000 lights illuminate the circular flower beds alongside the 4-metre-high Christmas tree.

Kurihama Hananokuni

  • Address: 1 Shinmei-cho, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Access: 15 min. walk from JR Kurihama Sta. or Keikyu Kurihama Sta.
  • Period:December 4, 2021 (Sat) – December 26, 2021 (Sun) 

Zushi Marina Illumination

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Zushi Marina Illumination
Credit: レクリム

Zushi Marina, located along the coast of Zushi City, Kanagawa Prefecture, is a fashionable port with a tropical atmosphere because it is right next door to Hayama.

As the sun sets, the star of the show shifts from the evening sky to the illumination of the palm trees. Because the background is a pitch-black night sky, the brilliance of the lighting is exceptionally dazzling.

*The availability of this event in 2022 has yet to be determined.

Zushi Marina

  • Address: 5-23-9, Kotsubo, Zushi City, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Access: Daisan Keihin or Shuto Expressway Yokohane Route ⇒ Yokohama New Road ⇒ Yokohama Yokosuka Road toward Yokosuka, exit at Asahina IC ⇒ Zushi Marina
  • Holding period: Usually from the end of November to the end of December

Hakone “Prince of the Star Museum” Romantic Starry Winter

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Hakone “Prince of the Star Museum”
Credit: Kanagawa Shimbun

The Prince of Star Museum Hakone Saint-Exupéry opened in 1999 as part of a worldwide commemorative project celebrating the 100th anniversary of Saint-Exupéry’s birth. The museum is specially decorated during the Christmas season for “Romantic Starry Winter,” creating a magical evening.

The Prince of Wales Museum

  • Address: 909 Sengokuhara, Hakone-cho, Ashigarashita-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Access: 30 minutes by Hakone Tozan Bus bound for Togendai from Hakone Tozan Railway Hakone-Yumoto Station.
  • Period: Saturday, October 29, 2022 – Monday, January 9, 2023 (national holiday)
  • Lighting hours: 15:30-18:00 (last admission 17:00)

Matsuda Kirakira Festa, Kanagawa

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Matsuda Kirakira Festa, Kanagawa

The Matsuda Kirakira Festa in Matsuda-cho, Kanagawa Prefecture, usually starts in late November and fills the mountain with illuminations; the collaboration of the seven lighting colours and the night view below is a must-see!

Unlike other illuminations, which are flat, this illumination is quite spectacular, with its difference in elevation unique to the mountainous area. 

Matsudacho Nishihirahata Park

  • Address: 2951 Matsuda Soryo, Matsuda-cho, Ashigarakami-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Access: 20-25 minutes on foot from JR Matsuda Station or Odakyu Line Shin-Matsuda Station
  • Period: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from November 20, 2021 (Sat) to December 12, 2021 (Sun), every day from December 17, 2021 (Fri) to December 26, 2021 (Sun), and from January 8 to 10, 2022 (Sat)
  • Lighting hours: 17:00 – 21:00

Miyagase Dam

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Miyagase Dam
Credit: RareA

Miyagase Dam is a popular illumination spot in Kanagawa, visited by 300,000 people every year. The illumination event “Miyagase Christmas for Everyone” is held every year.

Illuminations on the suspension bridge and promenade will not be lit, but the Christmas tree, a native fir tree over 30 metres high, will be dazzling in holiday lights.

*Availability of the event in 2022 has yet to be determined.

  • Miyakase Lakeside Park, Water Township Promenade
  • Address: 940-5 Miyagase, Kiyokawa-mura, Aiko-gun, Kanagawa-ken
  • Access: Hon Atsugi Station (Odakyu Odawara Line), North Exit, Kannachu Bus Stop No. 5, bound for “Miyagase” on the Atsugi Route 20, last stop: “Miyagase” alighting
  • Period: Saturday, December 4, 2021 – Sunday, December 26, 2021
  • Lighting hours: 17:00 – 21:00

Lake Sagami Illumilion

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Lake Sagami Illumilion
Credit: 4travel

Lake Sagami Illumination 2021″ is the largest light festival in the Kanto region, with a total of 6 million light bulbs, held at Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest in Kanagawa Prefecture. It features interactive illumination spots such as the “Lift of Light,” where visitors can view the illumination while riding in a lift. Since there are no buildings or neon lights at night in Sagami Lake, you can fully enjoy the glow of the light show and the star-filled sky.

Lake Sagami Illumination has many attractions, such as the Sea of Light, the Illumination Tree, and the Flower Garden of Light. The long duration of the festival is another attraction.

Lake Sagami Illumilion

  • Address: 1634 Wakayanagi, Midori-ku, Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Access: JR Chuo Main Line Sagamiko Station, 8 min. ride for Migaki, and alight at Pleasure Forest-mae bus stop.
  • Period: Saturday, November 12, 2022 – Sunday, April 2, 2023
  • Opening hours and lighting hours vary depending on the season. Please check the official website before visiting.

Illuminations in Chiba 

Mother Farm

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Mother Farm
Credit: レクリム

Mother Farm in Futtsu City, Chiba Prefecture, offers many things to do throughout the year, including petting zoo animals and magnificent flower gardens. The “Flower Garden of Light” illumination is also trendy in autumn and winter.

There are many spots not to be missed, such as the “Flower Garden of Light,” which is enveloped in colourful lights, and the “Rainbow-colored Warp Hall,” the first illumination tunnel in Japan that uses circular tubes.

Mother Farm

  • Address: 940-3 Tagura, Futtsu City, Chiba Prefecture
  • Access: Direct bus route from Kimitsu Station on JR Uchibo Line
  • Period: Weekends and holidays from November 3, 2022 (Thu.) to March 5, 2023 (Sun.), and every day from December 28, 2022 (Wed.) to January 4, 2023 (Wed.)
  • Lighting hours: 16:00-19:30

Funabashi Andersen Park

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Funabashi Andersen Park
Credit: マンスリー48

Funabashi Andersen Park in Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture, is a theme park that made headlines in 2015 when it was ranked third on TripAdvisor’s “Popular Theme Parks in Japan” list, behind Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea.

The park is open at night for a limited two-day period before Christmas each year, when the Castle of Flowers zone and a portion of the Melchen Hill zone are decorated with illuminations. Events such as handbell performances and juggling shows are also held.

Funabashi Andersen Park

  • Address: 525 Kanabori-cho, Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture
  • Access: 5-minute walk from Kenmin-no-mori bus stop after getting on the bus bound for Komuro Station from Funabashi Station.
  • Dates: Cancelled from 2021; “Christmas Marche” will be held from December 18 (Sat) to December 26 (Sun)

Tobu Zoo Winter Illumination|Saitama Prefecture

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Tobu Zoo Winter Illumination
Credit: Tokyo Weekender

Tobu Zoo’s winter event. In addition to the illumination show that combines light, music, and images, the park will be embellished with various decorations such as glowing flowers, light tunnels, and colourful lantern illumination. During the event, visitors can enjoy a different Tobu Zoo than usual, with night attractions and Night ZOO (animal exhibits at night).

  • Period and dates of the event: October 29, 2022 (Sat) – February 12, 2023 (Sun) on specified days
  • Lighting hours: 17:00 – 20:00 (17:00 – 21:00 on December 24 and 25)
  • Fee Varies according to ticket type
  • [Illumination admission: Adults (18 and older) 1,200 yen, Junior and senior high school students 1,000 yen, 3 years old to elementary school students 500 yen, 60 years old and older 1,100 yen
  • [Illumination Pass (Illumination admission fee + Night Attraction Pass)] Adults (18 and older) 3,200 yen, Junior/senior high school students 3,000 yen, 3 years old – elementary school students 2,000 yen, 60 years old and older 3,100 yen, etc.
  • Venue Tobu Zoo, Miyashiro-cho and Shiraoka City, Minami Saitama-gun, Saitama Prefecture

Tamaari town Keyaki-hiroba Illumination

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Tamaari town Keyaki-hiroba Illumination
Credit: 掬茶

This illumination is held at the Keyaki Plaza adjacent to Saitama Super Arena. Some 150 zelkova trees are decorated with blue-toned lights, enveloping the entire area in a mysterious blue glow. The entire Keyaki Hiroba will be beautifully decorated, with objets d’art installed on the lawn and in the atrium plaza.

  • Dates & Period: Saturday, November 12, 2022 – Tuesday, February 14, 2023
  • Lighting hours: 17:00 – 24:00 (on the first day, the lights will be turned on around 17:30 due to a ceremony)
  • Admission Free
  • Place: Keyaki Plaza, Tamaari△town, Chuo-ku, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture

Illumination in Yamanashi

Winter wonderland in Yamanakako

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Winter wonderland in Yamanakako 1
Credit: Trip Advisor

Enjoy fantastic light exhibitions and ice candles in Hananomiyako Park.

Lake Yamanakako, one of the Fuji Five Lakes in Yamanashi Prefecture, is a spot visited by many tourists as the lake with the closest view of Mt. There are many things to do here that can be enjoyed only during the cold winter season. Here are two such attractions of Yamanakako in winter.

The Lake Yamanakako Illumination “Fantasium” at Lake Yamanakako Hananomiyako Park is usually held from late November to New Year’s Day. Hananomiyako Park is accentuated with sunflowers and cosmos, but during this season, the park radiates with electric lights. The park is decorated with colourful lights to create a romantic atmosphere. There is also an illumination maze and shrines so that visitors can enjoy looking at the lights and playing with them in various ways.

Lake Yamanakako Hananomiyako Park Fantasium

  • Address: 1650 Yamanakako-mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi
  • Access: 30 min. by bus from Fujiyama Station on the Fujikyu Line (Fujikko-go bus)
  • Period: Saturday, November 20, 2021 – Monday, January 10, 2022
  • Lighting hours: 17:00 – 21:00 

Diamond Fuji at sunset can be observed at Lake Yamanaka from November to February. The “Lake Yamanakako Ice Candle Festival” is usually held in February as a related event to Diamond Fuji.

Ice candles made from naturally frozen ice are placed near the site where Diamond Fuji can be seen. When the candles are sparked at dusk, the scenery is fantastic. Finally, what better way is there to end a magical evening than with stunning fireworks? Watch out for those as they are launched right after the candles are sparked.

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Winter wonderland in Yamanakako 2
Credit: Visit Yamanakako

Lake Yamanakako Ice Candle Festival

  • Address: Koryu Plaza Kirara, 479-2 Hirano, Yamanakako-mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi
  • Access: 15 min. by bus from Fujiyama Station on the Fujikyu Line (Fujikko-go bus)
  • Period: Scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 18, 2023

Lisa and Gaspard Town

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Lisa and Gaspard Town
Credit: Hatano Takaya

Be enchanted by illuminations that look like the setting of a picture book! 

Located next to Fujikyu Highland in Yamanashi Prefecture, “Lisa and Gaspard Town” is a theme park based on the popular picture book character “Lisa and Gaspard.” It features patisseries, boulangeries, marchés, and other authentic stores in a recreation of the streets of Paris, where the two were born.

In the evening, the townscape with a Parisian spirit is transformed into a dreamlike world with 500,000 illuminations and light bulbs for the attractions.

Every year during the holiday season, the entire town is decorated with Christmas ornaments to enhance the holiday mood.

Lisa and Gaspard Town

  • Address: 5-6-1 Shinnishibaru, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi
  • Access: 15-minute walk from Fujikyu Highland Station on the Fujikyu Line
  • Period: November 27 (Sat) – December 25 (Sat), 2021

Kamakura Festival in Yunishigawa Onsen

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo Kamakura Festival in Yunishigawa Onsen

Yunishigawa Onsen in Tochigi Prefecture is a hot spring resort associated with the Heike clan, located in Nikko National Park. In winter, the area is covered with deep snow, but the “Kamakura Festival,” which takes advantage of the snow, is very popular. The countless lights of the snow-covered makura are recognized as a “Heritage of Night Views of Japan.”

At the “Sawaguchi riverside mini kamakura site” along the Yunishigawa River, many small kamakura are lined up; each lit up at night. The countless lights shimmering in the jet-black darkness are truly fantastic. It is said to be a healing illumination with just how majestic it is.

Yunishikawa Onsen Kamakura Festival

  • Address: Yunishigawa, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture
  • Access: 50 min. by Nikko Kotsu Dial Bus from Tobu Kinugawa Onsen Station
  • Period: Usually from late January to early March 

“Grimm’s Forest” in Shimono City, Tochigi Prefecture

23 Illumination day trips from Tokyo “Grimm’s Forest” in Shimono City
Credit: Jordan Transit

Grimm’s Forest” is a park in Shimono-shi, Tochigi Prefecture, based on the motif of Grimm’s fairy tales. Every winter, the park holds an illumination event where the world of fairy tales is wrapped with lights.

Among the many must-see attractions is Neuschwanstein Castle, the most famous castle in Germany. This castle is said to be based on Grimm’s fairy tales, and the decorations and fabrics are themed on various stories. Neuschwanstein Castle in the Grimm Forest shines in the light during the winter season.

Grimm’s Forest

  • Address: 747 Shimokoyama, Shimono-shi, Tochigi
  • Access: 25-minute walk from Ishibashi Station on the JR Utsunomiya Line
  • Period: Sunday, November 27, 2022

Most of these illuminations are not too far from the Tokyo city centre and you can get to these places easily by car or public transportation. Check out their official websites for the most up-to-date information and enjoy this winter and Christmas season! 

Check out what to do in Winter, best illuminations in Tokyo, best illuminations in Japan, illumination day trips, best ski resorts, winter festivals, best onsen spots and ways to escape the cold in winter in Japan.

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