Large scale illuminations have become a new winter tradition in Japan. Held all over the country, they certainly brighten up the long dark nights. Here are the Hiroshima area’s most popular illuminations.
Hiroshima Dreamination, Hiroshima city
1.4 million LEDs light up Hiroshima’s city center in an attempt to create a winter fairyland of peace with a mind-boggling backstory. The main displays line Peace Boulevard and the atmosphere is quite festive. Kids giggle as they run among the sparkly creations and couples canoodle.
More restrained lighting along the river next to Peace Memorial Park is very pleasant, though this year’s somewhat controversial lights around the A-bomb Dome are very blue. The giant Christmas tree in front of Pacela shopping center is a good place for seasonal selfies and look out for the Hiroden’s decorated tram in the run up to Christmas too.
11/17 2021 – 1/3 2022 17:30-22:30
Flower and Light Pageant, Hiroshima City Botanical Gardens
The illuminations at the Botanical Gardens combine the low light pollution of the countryside with reasonably easy access and is the most Christmassy of the local illuminations. Open on Christmas Day this year too!
Saturdays from November 27 to December 25
11/27, 12/4, 12/11, 12/18, 12/25
16:30-20:00 (Final admission 19:30)
See more, including details of the free shuttle bus from JR Itsukaichi Station here.
Winter Illuminations, Bihoku Hillside Park, Shobara
This expansive park in Shobara is a favorite destination for dating couples looking for a romantic setting and families after some holiday magic. Deep in the countryside, the lights really pop. The 17:30 switch on is pretty cool and the Japanese village area is surprisingly tasteful.
November 6 2021 – January 10 2022
11/6-12/30 17:30-21:00 (Final admission 20:00) Open until 22:00 on Saturdays.
November 8, November 15, November 24, November 29, December 6, December 13, December 20, December 31, January 1.
Access: 5-10 minutes from Shobara IC on the Chugoku Expressway
Illumination Road, Kure
Nautical (and military) themed installations dominate the in this port town’s illuminations which feature 150,000 LEDs. It wouldn’t be Kure if there wasn’t a somethingth scale model of the famous battleship Yamato and there is indeed a glowing 13 meter long representation.
December 10 2021 – January 2 2020 17:00-23:00