Home > Seasonal/Festivals > Hikari Renaissance Holiday Light Displays

Hikari Renaissance Holiday Light Displays

December 13, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The winter holiday season is here, and Osaka’s Hikari Renaissance light displays and events have begun! Christmas season is a time for romance in Japan, so this is the perfect chance to take someone special out for a walk by the river and the grand old buildings of Nakanoshima. It can also be fun for expats who miss the holiday cheer of home.

Aside from the lights, there is a large Christmas tree on display, choirs singing, and a musical performance with amazing visuals projected on the wall of the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library (don’t miss this!). The Osaka University of Arts’ musical groups will also put on a pop music concert. And numerous open-air food stalls are set up on the east end of Nakanoshima Park and at various spots along the riverbank. Finally, there are numerous limited-time, breathtaking river cruises operating at night in illuminated boats around Nakanoshima and other parts of town.

The lights can be seen every night from 5:00 to 10:00 PM, from December 1st through 25th (although the main events are from December 12th). Most of the lights and shows are located near city hall and Kokaido, as well as throughout Nakanoshima Park. The best way to get here  is via subway or Keihan rail lines: get off the train at Yodoyabashi, Kitahama, Naniwabashi or Oebashi Station. The display on western Nakanoshima is most easily reached from Nakanoshima Station (Keihan Nakanoshima Line). If you happen to be near the aquarium (Osakako Station on the Chuo Subway Line), or in Chayamachi (near Hankyu Umeda Station), stop by and check out the lights there also.

Visit Hikari Renaissance’s English-language site for details, river cruise times, and maps.

  1. December 14, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Is Christmas a bigger deal in Osaka than Tokyo or is it pretty much the same everywhere? Also, is Christmas day a holiday if it falls on a weekday? Keep up the good work!

    • December 15, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      Unfortunately, we do not get days off for Christmas. People do give gifts (although on a smaller scale, I think), but there is not cultural significance to the holiday. It is considered a romantic time (similar to Valentine’s Day in the USA), particularly Christmas Eve, which most Japanese consider an important day to spend with your significant other. Christmas also has commercial aspects to it, just like in the States, although on a much smaller scale. The big holiday period is around New Year’s, when a lot of businesses close and people return home to see their families.
      As far as Tokyo versus Osaka, they are the same–although Tokyo puts on a bigger lights display, which is second only to the fantastic lights display in Kobe (the best in Japan).
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Caroline
    December 19, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Pretty lights! We just went to see lights at the Grotto and on Peacock Lane here in PDX. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without the lights!🙂

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