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【2018 Edition】Five Recommended Winter Illumination Spots in Osaka

The end of 2018 is approaching fast, as more and more Christmas decorations appear around town. This is a great time to go out to enjoy the illuminations lighting up various places in Osaka. Here are some recommended illumination spots to visit in Osaka.

1. Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2018

Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2018 consists of large-scale illuminations across Osaka, with two core programs that cannot be missed both for their size and beauty. Osaka Light Renaissance includes works of art in light that uses the Osaka City Central Public Hall, which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary, as the screen and light shows that take advantage of the landscape around Nakanoshima.
Midosuji Illumination 2018 turns Midosuji, an iconic street from Umeda to Namba, into a 4 km-long river of lights. In particular, the path between Chuo Odori and Kita Mido has beautiful ripples of light on the ground.
In addition to these two core programs, there are illuminations across the city that are not just lights, but wonderful light shows.

Schedule: Sunday, November 4 - Monday, December 31
*Osaka Light Renaissance 2018 is between Friday, December 14 and Tuesday, December 25

1. Festival of the Lights in Osaka 2018

1-1-27 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

2. Shin Umeda City

At Shin Umeda City Wonder Square, near JR Osaka Station, there is a Christmas market modeled on such markets held in Germany. The site is filled with warm lights and wooden huts (hütte) that were used at Christmas markets in Germany. The adorable crafts and Christmas ornaments sold at the hütte are also recommended. The merry-go-round that catches the eye is an antique imported from Germany. The retro illuminations actually have a novel feel to them. This is an authentic Christmas market that will make you feel as if you are in Germany, so be sure to visit. If you feel cold, you can warm yourself up with hot wine and sausages.

Schedule: Friday, November 16 - Tuesday, December 25

2. Shin Umeda City

1-1-20 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

3. Expo '70 Commemorative Park

3D projection mapping and illuminations combine to light up Expo '70 Commemorative Park's iconic Tower of the Sun. The tower that emerges in the darkness with light and sound appears to open its arms to the night sky. This is a great opportunity to see projection mapping on a work of art and the mystical scene that is created by it.
The illuminations at Expo '70 Commemorative Park also coincide with Ramen EXPO, one of western Japan's largest ramen events. Last order is at 8:30 pm, so you can fill yourself up with ramen once you've enjoyed the majestic illuminations.

Schedule: Friday to Sunday and national holidays between December 1 and 25, as well as December 24. Illuminations only on December 25.
Park entrance fee: 250 JPY/adult, 70 JPY/elementary and junior high school age

3. Expo '70 Commemorative Park

1-1 Senri Banpaku Koen, Suita-shi, Osaka

4. Osaka Castle Park

At Osaka-jo Illuminage, you can enjoy a variety of events and decorations inspired by history. It is full of unique programs such as Japan's first "wa meiro (Japanese style maze)," a maze set in a historic Japanese castle town; a procession of courtiers dressed in costumes decorated with lights; and powerful performances of samurai wielding swords of light. There are also many spots to take photographs with the illuminated castle in the background where you can feel as if you have traveled back in time.

Schedule: Saturday, December 1, 2018 - Sunday, March 3, 2019
Entrance fee: 1,200 JPY/adult (junior high school age and older), 600 JPY/child (elementary school age and younger), free for children aged 3 and younger

4. Osaka Castle Park

3-11 Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

5. Osaka Station

Osaka Station, the gateway to Osaka, is also an illumination spot you won't want to miss! It is designed under the theme of Twilight Fantasy, and features golden gift boxes that appear on three veils of light that hang from the domed roof. Even the poles and floors are covered with a total of approximately 93,000 LED lights, creating a festive space. There are also 50 adorable snowmen in various locations, so walk around and see if you can find them.

Schedule: Thursday, November 1, 2018 - Thursday, February 14, 2019

5. Osaka Station

3-1-1 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

The illuminations in Osaka all have attractive features, be it dynamic movements or unique programming. Refer to this article and take that special someone out to look at the illuminations.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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