About the Festival
This festival takes place in Osaka City, Japan. It is composed of two-way events showcasing lights display illuminating the streets and buildings of the city. These events are the renowned dazzling light expo Midosuji Illumination and Osaka Hikari-Renaissance.
The Midosuji Illumination is held at Midosuji Ave., running through the center of Osaka. During the event, the four-kilometer street displays an enormous course of light. In the year 2015, it took a seat in the Guinness World Records as the world’s most trees are illuminated, ranging 4 kilometers.
The second event is Osaka Hikari-Renaissance, a yearly Christmas exhibit of a glittering lights display that encases the whole Nakanoshima area. The event highlights Japan’s Historic Cultural Properties, such as Nakanoshima Library, Central Public Hall, and several historic buildings. It is comprised of several light expositions engulfing the Osaka prefecture with cultural themes.
Festival Dates (2023-2024)
Mark your calendars! The Festival of Lights Osaka is slated to dazzle the city from November 3, 2023, to January 31, 2024. This extraordinary event is divided into two main spectacles that you won’t want to miss:
- Midosuji Illumination: This eye-popping visual feast will light up the Midosuji area from November 3 to December 31, 2023.
- Osaka Hikari Renaissance: Another must-see, the Osaka Hikari Renaissance will take place later in the season, from December 14 to 25, 2023.
Whether you’re a local or visiting for the season, these events offer a unique opportunity to see Osaka in a whole new light—literally!
Where It’s Located and How to Get There
The Festival of Lights Osaka takes place in two iconic locations within the city:
- Midosuji Avenue: Known for its bustling commercial and entertainment activities, Midosuji Avenue transforms into a twinkling wonderland for the Midosoji Illumination event.
- Nakanoshima Park: This scenic park, surrounded by rivers and filled with beautiful flora, serves as the magical backdrop for the Osaka Hikari Renaissance.
Getting to Osaka, Japan:
- By Air: The most direct way for international visitors to get to Osaka is by flying into Kansai International Airport (KIX) or Osaka International Airport (ITM).
- By Train: If you’re already in Japan, the Shinkansen (bullet train) is a quick and efficient way to get to Osaka from other major cities like Tokyo and Kyoto.
- By Bus: Several long-distance bus services also connect Osaka to other parts of Japan.
- Local Transportation: Once in Osaka, you can use the city’s comprehensive subway and bus system to get to Midosuji Avenue and Nakanoshima Park.
Plan your journey ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss a moment of this luminous celebration!
Other festivals of lights in Asia are:
The enchanting festival takes place from 5 pm to 10 pm.
The best thing about Festival of Lights Osaka is that it is a free event, allowing everyone to enjoy the magnificent lights and colors in the city.
Weather and What to Wear
The weather in Osaka from November to January generally ranges from cool to cold, with temperatures falling between 41°F to 59°F. Rainfall is sporadic, but it’s always good to be prepared for a drizzle.
What to Wear:
- Layer Up: Given the fluctuating temperatures, layering is your best friend. Start with a thermal shirt and add a fleece or sweater, topping it off with a waterproof or insulated jacket.
- Footwear: Opt for comfortable, waterproof boots, as you’ll be walking around quite a bit to soak in all the light displays.
- Accessories: Don’t forget a scarf, gloves, and a hat to keep those extremities warm, especially if you plan to stay out late to enjoy every glowing moment of the festival.
- Umbrella: A small, portable umbrella could come in handy in case of an unexpected shower.
- Swissôtel Nankai Osaka: Located in the heart of Namba, this hotel offers easy access to Midosuji Avenue, where a portion of the light festival takes place. It’s directly connected to Nankai Namba Station, making transportation a breeze.
- Conrad Osaka: For those looking to splurge a little, the Conrad Osaka offers luxurious accommodations with panoramic views of the city. It’s located near Nakanoshima Park, another main event location for the festival.
- APA Hotel Osaka Higobashi Ekimae: A budget-friendly option, this hotel is situated in close proximity to several subway lines. It offers basic yet comfortable amenities, and it’s not too far from the festival’s main events.
Where to Eat
- Kani Doraku Dotonbori Honten: Located in the bustling Dotonbori district, this restaurant is famous for its crab dishes. It’s hard to miss the giant crab sign out front, and the food is equally attention-grabbing.
- Mizuno: If you’re in the mood for Okonomiyaki, a type of Japanese savory pancake, Mizuno is the place to go. Established in 1945, this restaurant has a long history and offers a variety of Okonomiyaki made with high-quality ingredients.
- Hajime: For those seeking a high-end dining experience, Hajime offers three Michelin-starred cuisine. Chef Hajime Yoneda’s intricate and artistic dishes are a feast for both the eyes and the palate.
More Things To Do In the Area
- Osaka Castle: This iconic landmark is a must-visit, featuring stunning architecture, lush gardens, and a museum that provides a deep dive into Osaka’s history. The panoramic view from the top of the castle is also a highlight.
- Universal Studios Japan: One of the most famous theme parks in the world, Universal Studios Japan offers a range of exciting rides and shows based on movies produced by Universal Pictures. It’s a day-long adventure that is sure to entertain both kids and adults.
- Shinsaibashi: For shopping enthusiasts, Shinsaibashi is the go-to destination. This district is filled with high-end boutiques, retail chains, and quaint cafes. The Shinsaibashi-suji, a covered shopping street, is especially popular for picking up souvenirs, fashion items, and delicious local snacks.
- Is there parking available near the festival venues?
- Yes, there are several parking lots and garages near Midosuji Avenue and Nakanoshima Park. However, spots fill up quickly, so it’s advisable to arrive early or use public transport.
- Can I smoke at the festival venues?
- Smoking is generally prohibited in the main festival areas to ensure the comfort and safety of all attendees. Designated smoking areas are available; please look for signs or ask festival staff.
- Are pets allowed?
- Unfortunately, pets are not allowed at the main festival venues. However, some smaller installations around the city may allow pets; it’s best to check in advance.
- What are the festival dates for 2023-2024?
- The Festival of Lights Osaka will take place from November 3, 2023, to January 31, 2024. Midosoji Illumination will run from November 3 to December 31, 2023, while Osaka Hikari Renaissance will be from December 14 to 25, 2023.
- Is there an admission fee?
- The festival is mostly free to attend, although some specific events or installations may have an admission fee.
- Is the festival wheelchair accessible?
- Yes, most of the festival areas are wheelchair accessible. However, due to large crowds, it may be challenging to navigate through some sections.
- Can I take photographs or videos?
- Absolutely, capturing the magical moments is encouraged. However, commercial photography may require a permit from the festival organizers.
- Are there any food and beverage stalls?
- Yes, various food and beverage vendors are scattered throughout the festival area, offering a range of options to satisfy your hunger and thirst.