Midosuji Illumination - the dazzling light on cold winter days
Osaka is usually known as "The Eastern version of Venice", being a city harmonizing the romantic classical touch and the liveliness of modern society. This beauty is demonstrated through a festival that is very popular and is also the symbol of Osaka - Midosuji Illumination Festival of the Lights.
From November to December, the whole city of Osaka is filled with and illuminated by glamorous and sparkling LED lights. Every year during this time, people of The Land of the Rising Sun, as well as foreign visitors, gather here without a prior appointment to take part in one of the biggest and most expected Festival of the Lights in Osaka.
I had the opportunity to participate in the festival early December - it was also almost the end of the year, so the festival left me with many special feelings.
What's special about Festival of the Lights in Osaka?
In Japan, Festival of the Lights originated in Meiji period and was inspired by naval patrol boats with flashing lights offshore at night.
- Address: Miotsukushi Promenade Illuminated, 1 Nakanoshima, Kita, Osaka, Osaka
- Time of event: until 31/12
- Time of lighting: 17:00 ~ 23:00
- Website: https://www.hikari-kyoen.com/midosuji/
- Entry: Free
How did I get to Osaka?
On a cold winter day early December, after so many times missing the plan, my best friends and I decided to travel to Osaka to attend the famous Festival of the Lights that I'd heard for so long, but hadn't got to "see it with my own eyes" ^^
We took a Shinkansen from Tokyo station and got down at Shin Osaka station. We booked non-reserved seats, so it took us 14,000 Yen/person, and two and a half an hour to get there. After that, we changed from Shin Osaka station to Osaka station, then took a rapid train to Umeda station, and continued to take Midosuji subway line to Yodoyabashi station. From there, we walked to the hotel we booked beforehand in Kita, Osaka - near the location where the festival took place
As the electric train network in Osaka is very complicated, I suggest learning more before going, or else it would be easy to get lost.
Lost in Midosuji Illumination
Midosuji avenue is an iconic road lying at the heart of Osaka City. At around 19:30, we "dressed up" with charm and walked to the main road. The lights would be on at the same time from around 17:00. However, if you want to see its true beauty, I suggest going at around 19:00 - which is when the sun has set.
In reality, I was stunned by the brilliant atmosphere on Midosuji street surrounded by three different main colors, which are yellow, blue and pink. To my knowledge, this festival is still holding the world record for: the festival with most roadside trees lit.
There are around 1.3 million LED light bulbs decorated on Ginkgo Biloba trees on Midosuji main road connecting a 4-kilometer-distance between Umeda and Namba in Osaka.
Indulge in the colorful and gorgeous light and atmosphere
Midosuji was divided into 7 different areas - each being a combination of different colors like: the Sea of Gold area, the Flurry of Pink area, the Sakura area... helping to continuously appeal visitors. That the main light color was blue made me feel really warm and comfortable.
We actually visited the whole 4-kilometer distance and 7 areas that night. Yet we didn't feel tired at all. Maybe it was because I hadn't felt so excited and attracted.
The feeling of holding my friends' hands, slowly walking together amongst a fanciful and brilliant atmosphere, and whispering to each other about the ups and downs of the previous year on a foreign land during the last days of the year motivated me to keep moving forward before the new year came.
Midosuji Illumination is so special and interesting right? You haven't decided on where to go this winter? Then what are you waiting for? Make a plan and gather your close friends to make this winter even more special and memorable ^^
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