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Kyoto Winter Illumination 2019: Top Places in Kyoto to Experience Christmas Lights Displays

Kyoto Winter Illumination 2019 | Walking Tours Kyoto

Kyoto Winter Illumination 2019: Top Places in Kyoto to Experience Christmas Lights Displays

Winter illumination in Kyoto is as lively and vibrant as the other cities like Tokyo and Osaka. This year, the festive season is nothing short of fun, energy, and the holiday spirit with the Christmas lights displays all over Japan are well underway.

Parks, offices, bridges, and some of the top tourist attractions in Kyoto are all festooned with extravagant and sparkling lights to celebrate what we thought to be the happiest time of the year.

If you happen to be in Kyoto this holiday season, here are the best winter illumination displays you shouldn’t be missing:


Kyoto Winter Illumination 2019 | Walking Tours Kyoto
[ROHM Kyoto winter illumination | Image Courtesy of ROHM]

ROHM — a semiconductor company headquartered in Kyoto — holds the biggest Kyoto winter illumination display with over 860,000 bulbs in an out of this world “circus of lights.” At the company’s gateway stands two 10-meter wax myrtle trees draped in lights. And you pass them, two rows of 10 towering trees each covered in lights (called Promenade of Lights) will welcome you. And at the Crystal Garden of Lights is where the live performances and projection shows take place.

The event happens at 13 Okazaki Saishojicho, Sakyo Ward, from November 22 until December 25, 2019, 4:45 p.m. to 10 p.m.


2. Arashiyama Hanatouro

Kyoto Winter Illumination 2019 | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Arashiyama Hanatouro Kyoto winter illumination 2019 | Image Courtesy of Hanatouro]

Arashiyama Hanatouro is a festival of lights (“tou”) and flowers (“hana”) where you can see lit outdoor lanterns and flamboyant flower arrangements in many parts of Saga and Arashiyama area. On top of that, the entire span of Togetsukyo Bridge and its hills backdrop get illuminated at night, giving the area a new stunning dimension to what’s already a magnificent place in broad daylight. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove as well is getting a winter illumination makeover around this time and transforms into what seems like a fantasy at night.

Arashiyama Hanatouro takes place from December 13 to 22 at 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. across the Saga and Arashiyama area.


3. Kyoto Botanical Garden

Kyoto Winter Illumination 2019 | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Kyoto Botanical Garden Winter Illumination 2019 | Image Courtesy of Ellen Chow]

Though Kyoto Botanical Garden’s winter illumination display is not as elaborate and grandiose as the other two, it’s the perfect spot for tourists who just want to stay away from the crowds. Kyoto Botanical Garden boasts an unassuming atmosphere where a grove of cherry blossom trees sparkles at night.

Kyoto Botanical Garden extends its opening hours until 9 p.m. (last admission is at 8 p.m.) in time for Kyoto winter illumination 2019.


4. Kyoto Station Christmas Lights Show

Kyoto Winter Illumination 2019 | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Kyoto Station Christmas illumination | Image Courtesy of Ampel Freung Travel / YouTube]

Even if it’s not on your itinerary, it’s hard to miss the Christmas lights display at Kyoto Station as you are probably getting on and off the train here. Right at the entrance stands a 22-meter tall Christmas tree. Behind it is the surprise though — a massive flight of stairs that light up and shows a variety of things in all its wonder. The musical lights display is powered by more than 128,200 light bulbs.

The Christmas lights show at Kyoto Station happens from November 15 until March 28, 2020, at 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.


5. Twinkle Joyo

Kyoto Winter Illumination 2019 | Walking Tours Kyoto
[Twinkle Joyo Winter Kyoto Illumination 2019 | Image Courtesy of Kyoto Tourism]

Though quite far from the city of Kyoto but still part of Kyoto Prefecture, Joyo City is a fast-growing winter illumination hotspot in the Kansai region. Twinkle Joyo, as the event is called, started out as a community project where local groups and companies donate light displays to make the event happen. Today, Twinkle Joyo has become a full-blown and visit-worthy winter illumination event boasting 560,000 pieces of illuminations while rolling food, entertainment, and Christmas into one mix.

The center of the event happens at Joyo City Comprehensive Athletic Park from December 1 to 25.


Kyoto is the heart of Japan and has rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. On our Walking Tours you will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture. Free Walking Tours in Kyoto | Kyoto Walking Tours. Book your free walking tour of Kyoto today.




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