| Centrip Editorial Board

5 of the Best Winter Shows in Central Japan

When the days get shorter and the nights stretch on, watching light shows is one of the best ways to brighten up the skies. Central Japan is full of many great places to take in the lights. They can even be enjoyed on rainy days, and the lights reflecting off the wet ground create beautiful effects.

Nabana no Sato



Nabana no Sato, near Nagashima Resort in Nagashima-cho, Kuwana is one of the best-known places for illumination festivals. This year's theme is Airships. The observatory has wonderful views and makes for a great place to take photos.

Dates: Oct 20 - May 6
Directions: 20 minutes by train from Kintetsu Nagoya Station to Kintetsu Nagashima Station and 10 minutes by direct bus from Kintetsu Nagashima Station heading for "Nabananosato"
Fee: ¥2,500 (Pre-schoolers and younger free)

Hida Takayama Illuminations

Enjoy romantic lights and the lit-up scenery of Hida Takayama's town. In the downtown area, the Naka-bashi bridge, built over the Miya River, is lit during this season. Have fun walking through this wonderland of lights. All over the town you'll find winter lights so prepare to be dazzled in the sparkling town of Hida Takayama.

Dates: Dec 1 - Feb 28, 4:30-9:30pm
Fee: Free
Directions: Take the Hida 15 Limited Express Takayama to Takayama station. (About 2hr 42mins)

138 Tower Park

The theme of this year’s light festival is "A light of hope for the future.” The park's 13 areas display important things to pass on to the future. Vivid and warm light spaces decorated with approximately 300,000 lights await your arrival. Guided tours are available, and don't forget to visit the observation floor of 138 Tower Park

Dates: Nov. 12 - Dec. 25, 5-9pm (5-10pm on Saturday, Sunday, and national holidays)
January 2nd - 3rd, New Years Light Up 5-9pm
Fee: Free (excluding the observation floor)
Directions: Take the Nagoya Railway to Ichinomiya Station. Transfer to the bus and ride from Ichinomiya Eki to 138 Tower Park.

Higashiyama Sky Tower

Beautiful night views of Nagoya await at the observation room in Higashiyama Sky Tower. From Dec 6 to Dec 25, 2000 bulbs light up the tower from 9pm (final admission 9:30). The tower is considered part of Japan's night view heritage sights and one of the 100 best night views in Japan. Don't pass up your chance to see it.

Dates: Dec 6 - Dec 25, 9pm (final admission 9:30)
Fee: Adults and senior high school students and older: ¥300

Directions: Take the Nagoya Subway Higashiyama Line to Higashiyama Koen Station.

Hirayu Ootaki



Taken in Feb. 2017



The lights at Hirayu Ootaki dramatically illuminate a frozen waterfall, in Takayama city, Gifu. This expansive waterfall (64m high, 6m wide) turning the streams into gigantic ice pillars, that are lit in blue and green to create a magical show in the winter.

Date: Feb 15 - 25, 7-9pm
Directions: Take the shuttle bus from Hirayu bus terminal for 5 minutes, to Anki-ya (restaurant). Once getting off, walk 25 minutes to the event site.

The glittering lights of the winter season are heartwarming despite the cold. Even if you are far away from home, don't worry, you can still enjoy the winter lights.