One of the best things to do when traveling during wintertime in Japan is to experience their winter illuminations. There are several winter illuminations in Japan, especially in big cities. It has become one of the Japanese tradition to visit light festivals during wintertime. The largest winter illumination in Japan can be found in Nabana no Sato. It is a flower theme park in Mie Prefecture, just a short bus ride from Nagoya city.
The main area of Nabana no Sato which is the light festival is what most people came here for. If you search for Winter Illuminations in Japan, this light tunnel will be one of the top photos you’ll see. This light tunnel consists of millions of led bulbs that will transform this ordinary place into a sparkly wonderland at night time.
Nabana no Sato is one of the most beautiful places I have visited in Japan. If only I’m not a huge Disney fan, Nabana no Sato will surely be my favorite place in Japan instead of Tokyo Disney Resort.
We visited on a Saturday which means there were more crowds. Since Nabana no Sato is very famous both to locals and tourists, this place can get really crowded. At first, it was too crowded that I could not see anything but just a sea of people ahead of me. I stayed at the side first and when I saw that there are only a few people, I quickly took my photos.
The light tunnel will open at 6:30 P.M but we can start queuing as early as 5:00 P.M. The staff will be there to assist since there will be an organized queue.
We watched the light show at the end of the tunnel. There’s a different theme for the light show every year and this year, the theme is “Japan ~ Japanese sceneries ~” It has 14 different views from different era and time in the Japanese history.
We did not finish the light show since it was already late. We have to catch the bus back to Nagoya and ride the bullet train (Shinkansen) back to Osaka.
I would love to visit Nabana no Sato again on our next Japan trip but no longer as a day trip. There’s just so much to do around this area. I would definitely check out the Nagashima Resort on our next visit.
This winter illumination is different, special and unique compared to other light festivals in the country. If you cannot visit during wintertime, you will still be able to experience this winter illumination. This illumination will start around mid-October and ends in May. Tourists will still have a chance to experience this illumination even if they are not able to visit during winter.
This park may be best known for having the largest winter illumination but what most people forget is that this is also a garden theme park. Visitors will enjoy a different variety of beautiful flowers.
The visitors will surely enjoy this Begonia Garden, one of the highlights of this park. Visitors will not only enjoy Begonia flowers but also others such as petunias, amaryllis, poinsettias, and herbs.
This greenhouse is actually really big. Everyone is sure to enjoy this unique greenhouse. There’s also a beautiful cafe before the exit. We tried out some of the snacks like sakura flavored ice cream and just enjoyed the beautiful atmosphere.
There are still more activities to do in this place. We were not able to explore all. We combined our Nagoya day trip to this garden theme park so we were not able to explore a lot.
Since it was also raining very hard, we enjoyed spending time here at Begonia Garden. This place is also known for its beautiful tulip fields from late April to May. We went during the cherry blossom season so we didn’t see any tulips.
This was definitely the highlight of our trip. It’s like being a kid again watching all these beautiful lights. I got sick the next day because I got soaked by the rain. but that experience created a wonderful memory for me. I will definitely come back to this place again and explore the other features of this park.
Check out what I did in Nagoya
Itinerary for Nagoya: Day Trip from Osaka
Other cities in Kansai Region
- Hidden Gem in Kobe: Nunobiki Herb Garden
- One day in Kyoto: How to Maximize Your Day Trip
- Mt Fuji Shibazakura Festival
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