Advanced illuminations!

Towns, theme parks, and a castle illuminated by lights create unique worlds – illuminations in Osaka and Kobe

During the winter of 2013, an event will be held in Osaka that illumination fans cannot miss. It’s called the “Festival of Light in Osaka”, and is an event that is held over a broad area, making the entire city its stage. Everywhere, including historic buildings, parks, bridges, and streets will be surrounded by gorgeous illuminations, turning Osaka into “the city of light.”

The program that is most highly recommended is the “Osaka Castle 3D Projection Mapping Super Illumination”, which will take place at Osaka Castle and will be gorgeous and splendid in appearance. 3D images will be projected onto the five-story castle keep of Osaka Castle,using 12 projectors. By means of the projected light, the castle will be enveloped in flames, split into two, and a waterfall will flow out of the castle while butterflies float around the castle – compared to its appearance during the daytime, you will enjoy scenery that is beyond imagination. There will be other shows, including a music and light show in a baroque garden that appears on the castle premises, and you can enjoy Osaka Castle with a different atmosphere.

During the “Festival of the light in OSAKA”, various other programs will be held, including cruises on an illuminated boat, a fountain in a port, and a music and light show, in addition to the two core programs of “Osaka Hikari-Renaissance 2013”, a colorful illumination held in the Nakanoshima area, and the “Midosuji Illumination”, which decorates Midosuji Street with illuminations in various colors. Osaka City Central Public Hall will become the stage of “Light Opera 2013”, a waterfront opera show. The magnificent sight of the large-scale 3D images projected on the wall of the neo-renaissance styled historic architecture will take your breath away.

Aside from these events, various other illuminations will be held. Such events include “The Song of an Angel II”, a musical show held in Universal Studios Japan, featuring a Christmas tree that is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the most illuminated Christmas tree in the world, and “Abeno Tennoji Illuminage in Tennoji Park”, which features illuminated objects shaped like forests, animals from the savanna and the south pole, and other things.

©Kobe Luminarie O.C.
Another city with illuminations that represent the Kansai region that should not be overlooked is Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture. In “Kobe Illuminage”, the largest facility-type illumination in the Kansai region held at the Kobe Municipal Fruit & Flower Park, illuminations utilizing 3D projection mapping will be presented. Moreover, Kobe Luminarie is a big event that features a large, splendid corridor of light named Galleria and has approximately three and half a million and visitors each year.

Osaka Castle 3D Projection Mapping Super Illumination

Place:Nishinomaru Castle Osaka Castle 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Period:December 14, 2013 – February 16, 2014
Time: 17:30 – 22:30
*-23:00 on specified days. Last admission: 22:00.
Access:Approx. 5 minutes on foot from JR Loop Line Osakajokoen Station, approx. 10 minutes from Osaka Municipal Subway Tanimachi Line Tanimachi Yonchome Station.
Admission:Adult: 1,600 yen, child: 950 yen (2,000 yen and 1,200 yen respectively on specified days, including Fridays, Saturdays, and the day before holidays). Premium tickets with priority entry privileges are also available.

Gorgeous/brilliant projection mapping show in a metropolis: illuminations in Tokyo & Yokohama

The new trend among illuminations in the Tokyo metropolitan region is illuminations that tell stories utilizing the 3D projection mapping technology.

Last year, Caretta Shiodome held an illumination that told a story using uniquely-composed music and 3D projection mapping technology, and it was very popular. This year, it will present an interactive show utilizing new “interactive 3D projection mapping” technology. The show will feature a story in which visitors build a Christmas tree with fish in the sea, using the entire venue to resemble a seabed, and the story will progress by means of the applause by the visitors.

“Dockyard Projection Mapping” held in “Dockyard Garden” of Yokohama Landmark Tower is Japan’s first outdoor 180-degree projection mapping presentation, and it will allow you to feel as if you are inside the projected image. In the second session, starting from November 7th, an original romantic Christmas program named “Happy Christmas featuring ‘Disney The Little Mermaid'” which is inspired by the Disney movie “The Little Mermaid” will be presented, as part of “Happiness Town Project Bright Christmas 2013”.

Other illuminations utilizing 3D projection mapping and music will be held in locations such as “Tokyo Skytree Town®”*. “Marunouchi Illumination” on Marunouchi Naka-Dori Street attracts many people each year, and this year’s event will feature special new Disney motifs as well. There will be new aspects added to popular illuminations, such as a dynamic three-dimensional moving illumination using new “crossover illumination” technology in “Tokyo Midtown”, which is another major illumination spot in Tokyo. In addition, in the illumination held at “Tokyo Dome City”, the Tokyo Dome will be lit up with colorful lights for the first time in history and the entire event will be held on the largest scale ever. There is always something new when it comes to illuminations in the Tokyo area!

*Although the illumination will last until January 31, 2014, the 3D projection mapping show only will be held from December 1 to December 25.

Caretta Illumination 2013 “White X’mas in the sea”

Place:B2F Caretta Plaza Caretta Shiodome, 1-8-2 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Period:November 15 – December 25, 2013
Time:17:00 – 22:30 (- 23:00 during a specified period)
Access:Approx. 1 minute on foot from Tokyo Oedo Line Shiodome Station, approx. 2 minutes on foot from Yurikamome Line Shiodome Station, approx. 4 minutes on foot from JR line Shinbashi Station, approx. 3 minutes on foot from Toei Asakusa Line Shinbashi Station, and approx. 5 minutes on foot from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Shinbashi Station.

Dockyard Projection Mapping (special Christmas program)

Place: Dockyard Garden, Yokohama Landmark Tower, 2-2-1 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
Period: November 7 – December 25, 2013
Time: Five shows per day, every 40 minutes starting from18:30
Access: Approx. 3 minutes on foot from Minatomirai Line Minatomirai Station.
Approx. 5 minutes on foot on moving walkways from JR line/Yokohama Municipal Subway Sakuragicho.
Admission: Free; however, visitors must obtain a numbered ticket in advance (only tickets for the show performed on that day will be issued from 10:00 to 20:30. Only 500 tickets will be issued for each show).

Many more popular illumination spots! Illumination events throughout Japan

During the Christmas and New Year’s seasons, illuminations appear throughout Japan, not just in the Osaka and Tokyo regions.

Large-scale illuminations are often held in many major cities in each region, mainly by local communities. For example, “Sapporo White Illumination” and “SENDAI Pageant of Starlight” are popular events that attract many visitors. In addition, large-scale commercial facilities in each area often have illuminations.

©Huis Ten Bosch/J-15164

Moreover, many theme parks throughout Japan have illuminations in winter; for example, Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo City, Nagasaki has “The Kingdom of Light”, in which over 10 million light bulbs, the most in the world, illuminate the theme park reproducing townscapes of Europe. Another place that has an illumination that is particularly popular is “Nabana no Sato” (Kuwana City, Mie), featuring illuminations over water on the world’s largest scale, “Hikari no Unkai (the Sea of Lighting Cloud)”, in which flowerbeds illuminated with blue lights look like a sea of clouds, and other displays held on an overwhelming scale with a fantastical atmosphere. The illumination in Ashikaga Flower Park (Ashikaga City, Tochigi) featuring tunnels of lights or towers that appear over the entire park is highly popular as well.

The article on the JNTO website “Illuminations around Japan in 2013” introduces particularly noteworthy events held in urban regions from among these popular illumination events.