★Things to Do★: Nagashima's Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination

6:46 AM

Greetings all from the otherside of the globe! I'm back with my family stateside, and with nothing but time. Time to sleep, to eat, to chat leisurely. But most importantly, time to blog! Right?? Riiight.

And with is being the last week before Christmas, it is only appropriate that I post some winter illuminations! They aren't necessary Christmas-y in theme, but they are a big deal during the holiday season in Japan. In the kansai area alone, there are illuminations in Kobe (the 神戸ルミナリエ), Osaka (天王寺イルミナージュ and 大阪光のルネサンス ), and Kyoto (京都花灯路) as well as tiny spots in many shopping malls and centers that dot the area. But this particular illumination spot in Nagashima (technically the Chuubu area, but very easy to get to from Osaka) is a big hit all throughout Japan.

Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination Fuyuka no Kyouen
Nabana no sato is a popular sightseeing spot for Japanese and non-Japanese alike when it comes to enjoying gardens and hot springs. Most of the hotels in the area are also right next to the Anpaman Museum, making it extremely popular for big families with small children, the theme park Nagashima Spa Land also makes it an awesome spot for young people, with an outlet mall for the wives of well-to-do salaryman. Really, it's probably got everything you need for a good overnight trip. :)

Access Info:

(Mie-ken Kuwana-shi Nagashima-cho Komareurushibata 270)

(Nabana no Sato)

 Hours of Operation: 9:00 - 21:00, 9:00 - 22:00 on Sat, Sun. and Holidays
Winter Illumination Price: 2000yen for ages 12 and above. Ages 12 and below are free.

English Mie Tourism Info Site       Official Japanese Site

 If you dig on winter illuminations, then this place comes highly recommended. 

It's definitely got more breathing room than the illuminations that take place in big cities (here's lookin' at you Kobe), so you can take your time with photo ops and you don't feel rushed. Though, if you rode in on the tour bus, you're on an hour time limit. However, the hour is plenty for getting a look around.

Plus, the mascot for the gardens is Peter Rabbit! I had a bunch of Peter Rabbit stuff as a baby, so I'm forever attached to this mischievous bunny.

And not only are there winter illuminations, but they also light up the autumn leaves, all for your viewing pleasure..! :)

Kyoto has a similar illumination for it's autumn lives, so I'm now eager to check that out next year as well. Autumn leaves are definitely my favorite kind of leaves.

I forgot to mention this, but I did visit the gardens on a Thursday, so that would also explain the lack of crowd. My in-laws said it was much worse on the weekend when they went last year. So my bit of advice, do NOT go on a weekend if you can help it. :)

When the illuminations are on, there aren't really any lights for the pathway, and there's a couple places where you might trip up if you're not careful. So no walking and photo snapping at the same time. 
Everything else about the event is really well done. There are signs to clearly identify the various sections of the garden and there are even some restaurants or food stalls for snacks or dinner. I didn't get to taste anything, but food stalls in Japan rarely disappoint. :>
And that's about it for the words. Now you can just enjoy the photos! This was taken in main area. I do believe that is a wedding chapel in the background.
This is a crazy UFO you can ride in to get a view of the park from above. It's actually called Island Fuji and it's 500 yen for adults and 300 for kids. You can check out that webpage here.

One of my favorite spots, the Tunnel of light..! All the tiny lights are in the shapes of flowers. :)

Here's the sakura version! Both were fantastic, though the white one is better for photo ops! ;)

This year's main event was this "screen," which was actually just thousands of LED lights, animated with music. It's like a little play about nature showing things like the aurora, Mt. Fuji, a rainbow and the iconic Japanese sunrise. It's almost makes you feel a little mushy inside. :3

Overall, this was one of my favorite fall/winter experiences in Japan. If friends or Shota (who wasn't able to go this time) said they wanted to go next year, I'd probably go again. :) There's also a hot spring I'd like to visit next time too! If I had a star rating for these, I'd give it something like a 4.5-5 (I'm super indecisive, hence why I don't have any kind of rating system :P ).

The next post will probably be about the begonia garden, which is inside Nabana no sato, but you do have to pay extra. If you're a big flower lover though, it's absolutely worth it..! :)

Stay warm and happy!♪♥

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