/

Nagashima Onsen Resort lights up the winter

by Magdalena Osumi

Staff Writer

Although the Christmas holiday season is not yet upon us, Nagashima Onsen Resort in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, is already getting into the spirit of festive lighting. From Oct. 25, Japan’s longest-running winter illuminations event lights up for its 10th time. Until March next year, Nabana no Sato, a botanical garden in the resort, will glow with 8.5 million LED diode lamps.

The main feature of this year’s event celebrates Mount Fuji, which was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in June 2013. A 30-meter high recreation of the iconic peak will be on display, with its lighting changing to show off the landscape in different seasons. Another seasonally themed highlight is the momiji (maple) alley, a corridor of lights resembling the changes in autumn foliage, a popular tourist attraction in Kyoto or Kamakura. More than a million tiny lights will also give a 200-meter-long tunnel a soft glow, while a river of lights will spread across the pond in the center of the floral garden.

The view of this can be enjoyed from Island Fuji — a 45-meter-high observation deck at the side of the pond.

As the garden is known for its hydrangeas, cosmos and irises, other lights have been arranged into floral and other designs —a reminder that when winter ends, we can enjoy flowers in bloom once again.

The illuminations take place daily from Oct. 25 through March 31, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Entry is ¥2,000 (free for children under school age). There is a direct bus service between Nabana no Sato and the Meitetsu Bus Terminal near JR Nagoya Station. For more information, call 0594-41-0787 or visit www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp/nabana/illumination/index.html.