The Ashikaga Flower Park Flower Fantasy is the biggest Winter illumination event in Eastern Japan. Held in the Tochigi prefecture, 3.5 millions lights will light up Ashikaga Flower Park for the 15th year in a row. This event is so spectacular that it is recognized as a national night view heritage and one of the top Christmas Illuminations in Japan.
Photo Credit: Norio NAKAYAMA@flickr
Ashikaga Flower Park is renowned for its many beautiful wisteria flowers that can be seen in yellow, blue and white. The wisteria flowers bloom during May and bring crowds from all over Japan as one of the top flower gardens in Japan. It is the only location in Japan to be listed as one of the top places to visit in the world since 2014. Many other types of flowers can also be found here along with restaurants and souvenir shops. A spring flower festival is also held here from March to April.
Flower Fantasy Illumination 2016-2017
Photo Credit: ashikaga.co.jp
For the past 15 years, Ashikaga Flower Park has become well known for hosting one of the top 3 winter illumination shows in Japan. From October to February, visitors can enjoy the park at nighttime as lights designed to look like flowers enchant the park. Although the wisteria are not blooming during this season, you can still enjoy their beauty as numerous LED light chains are hung from the same lattices that the real flowers hang from in spring.
This year they plan to go even further by doubling the rose illumination display as well as illuminating the water nymphs to make this one of the best illuminations in Japan. The Winter illumination display is represented by three thematic events:
Light and Flower Collaborations: October 22nd to mid-November
Christmas Fantasy: Late November to December 31st
New Year Illuminations: January 1st to February
#1. Light and Flower Collaborations
Photo Credit: ashikaga.co.jp
Illumination Period: October 22nd to mid-November
Lights come together as beautiful flowers for the Light and Flowers collaboration event. Here LED lights designed to look like flowers light the Ashikaga Flower Park up at night. A garden filled with illuminated roses and hanging LED wisteria flowers creates a romantic atmosphere.
#2. Christmas Fantasy
Illumination Period: Late November to December 31st
From late November to late December, the Ashikaga Flower Park Christmas runs a special Christmas fantasy illumination event. At Ashikaga Flower Park, Christmas is a huge event. Some of the most notable attractions are the two story Christmas trees, pyramids, light tunnels and the enormous, ever changing LED screen which plays music synchronized light shows. Ashikaga’s “Christmas Fantasy” is one of the most popular Christmas illuminations in Japan.
#3. New Year Illuminations
Illumination Period: January 1st to February
New Years at Ashikaga Flower Park is celebrated by Peonies flowers. Peonies flowers, both real and fake, are lit up around the park from the first of January to mark the New Year. Torii in Japanese are traditional Japanese red gates found at the entrance of shrines like the one in the picture above. These gates represent the transition into sacred grounds. At Ashikaga Flower Park, walking through the illuminated red Tori gate instead symbolizes the transition from the normal to the magical.
The Water Mirror “One Earth for All”
This special themed illumination at Ashikaga Flower Park makes use of the water-mirror effect to create a dazzling light display. The reflection of the LED lights in the water creates a magical atmosphere. The theme for this illumination is human beings, animals and plants living all together in harmony on Earth.
Access from Tokyo
Ashikaga Flower Park can be reached in about 2 hours from Shinjuku station for a cost of 2,000 yen. From Shinjuku station take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Oyama station. At Oyama station you need to transfer to the JR Ryomo Line going towards Takasaki and get off at Tomita station. From there it is about a 15 minute walk.
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Ashikaga Flower Park
Address: Ashikaga Flower Park, 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture
Access: 15 minute walk from Tomita station on the JR Ryomo line
Illumination Period: 22nd October, 2016 – 2nd February, 2017
*Closed on December 31st
Hours: 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM
*Sat, Sun, Holiday, until 9:30 PM
400 yen (Children)
Website: Ashikaga Flower Park