How do we know it's winter in Hiroshima?

Good morning everyone,

It's looking most of the morning will remain rainy and then it should stop raining sometime after lunch. Tomorrow will be warmer and we'll see a mix of sun and clouds. We're going to see a mixed bag of weather this week, Tuesday will be nice and sunny, Wednesday will see some clouds, maybe rain on Thursday and then back to sun on Friday and Saturday.

In Japan, how do you know when winter has arrived? The first snowfall? Nope. Geese migrating south? Ha ha! No way! Children digging out their sleds and toboggans? Not a chance.

We know when winter has arrived when all of the Christmas light shows start being lit up. 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 and the giant Christmas Tree in front of the Pacela shopping center is a good place for seasonal selfies.
Peace Boulevard and surrounding streets 11/16-1/9 17:30-22:30


Flower and Light Pageant, Hiroshima City Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens Winter Illuminations

The illuminations at the Botanical Gardens combine the low light pollution of the countryside with reasonably easy access and is the most Christmasy of the local illuminations.

11/26, 11/27, 12/3, 12/4, 12/11, 12/11, 12/17, 12/18, 12/23, 12/24, 12/25
16:30-21:00 (Final admission 20:30)

Free shuttle bus from JR Hatsukaichi Station (North Exit)

Leaves JR Itsukaichi Station15:3016:1016:5017:3018:5519:35
Leaves Botanical Gardens15:5016:3017:1018:3519:1520:4521:20


Winter Illuminations, Bihoku Hillside Park, Shobara

Bihoku Winter Illuinations

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 stand out. The 17:30 switch on is pretty cool and the Japanese village area is surprisingly tasteful. Fireworks every Saturday.

11/15-1/12 17:30-21:00 (Final admission 20:00) Closed 12/31, 1/1, 1/5

Access: 5-10 minutes from Shobara IC on the Chugoku Expressway


Illumination Road, Kure

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 scale model of the famous battleship Yamato included, and there is indeed a glowing 13 meter long replica to be found.

December 2-January 3 17:00-23:00


Miroku-no-sato “Music Illumination”, Fukuyama

Amusement Park Under The Stars - Miroku-no-sato

Miroku-no-sato amusement park in Fukuyama goes all out with the illuminations. 800,000 bulbs light up the 50m ferris wheel and many many displays. Fireworks on 12/23 & 12/24.

November 7 – 11/28, 2016 (Sat, Sun and Holidays), December 1 – January 9 everyday except New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
Night admission (from 16:30): Adults ¥800, Children ¥500

Access: 30 minutes by bus from JR  Fukuyama Station

Which one will you go to with someone special?

Have a great day!

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