About the Festival
The Kingdom of Lights at Huis Ten Bosch is a spectacular festival of lights that brings together an astounding 13 million LED lights to create a visual symphony like no other. Spanning across the park, this festival unfolds a story narrated through lights, illuminating the night and enchanting its audience. Every corner of Huis Ten Bosch is transformed into a vibrant tableau of glowing colors and shapes, making it a paradise for light enthusiasts and photographers alike. The sheer scale of lighting and the creativity in display designs combine to create a mesmerizing experience that leaves an indelible mark on all who visit.
Featured Lighting Displays
- Light Waterfall: Witness a stunning visual illusion as thousands of LED lights create the gentle, flowing effect of a cascading waterfall, mesmerizing in its serene beauty.
- Lanterns: Experience a touch of tradition and warmth with intricately designed lanterns, casting a soft, inviting glow across pathways and trees.
- Projection Mapping: Be captivated by stories told in vibrant colors and images, as buildings and surfaces become canvases for spectacular projection mapping displays.
- Fairy Lights: Draped over structures and natural features, fairy lights create an ethereal atmosphere, turning the ordinary into realms of fantasy.
- Curtain Lights: Like luminous waterfalls, curtain lights flow from above, creating shimmering partitions and backdrops that transform the space into a mystical world.
- Twinkling Light Trees: Marvel at the trees adorned in thousands of sparkling lights, each flicker contributing to a breathtaking display akin to stars in a night sky.
- Illuminated Flowers: Among the displays, find gardens of illuminated flowers, their petals aglow, crafting a vibrant, colorful oasis in the night.
- Tunnels of Lights: Stroll through tunnels enveloped in a canopy of LED lights, providing an immersive experience akin to walking under a star-filled sky.
- Interactive Light Displays: Engage with playful and interactive light installations, where every movement and touch brings a new perspective and joy to the light spectacle.
With 13 million LED lights setting the scene, every moment and turn within the Kingdom of Lights presents a new visual delight, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a magical light festival experience.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Kingdom of Lights at Huis Ten Bosch is that it’s not confined to a specific season or holiday – it’s a year-round event. Each season brings its own unique theme and illumination style, ensuring that every visit offers a new and delightful experience. The ever-evolving nature of this festival means that whether you’re visiting in the crisp coolness of winter or the vibrant bloom of spring, you’ll be greeted with a dazzling display specifically tailored to capture the essence of that season.
- Winter: Typically featuring a Christmas light show, the winter season envelops the park in a festive, joyous atmosphere with twinkling fairy lights and themed installations that celebrate the holiday spirit.
- Spring: As the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, so too do the illuminated flowers and pastel-hued lights, mirroring the natural beauty with a soft, enchanting glow.
- Summer: Summer nights are alive with vibrant colors, with light exhibitions designed to evoke the joy and energy of the season. Expect to see lively, dynamic displays, perhaps even celebrating summer festivals from around the world.
- Autumn: The fall brings a more subdued yet equally beautiful illumination. Themed around the autumn foliage, the lighting takes on warm golds, rich reds, and deep oranges, reflecting the changing leaves around the park.
No matter when you choose to visit the Kingdom of Lights, you’re guaranteed a unique and breathtaking experience. The park’s dedication to providing year-round entertainment through lights means that each visit can offer something new and exciting, making it a perfect destination for lighting enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.
Where It’s Located and How to Get There
The Kingdom of Lights finds its enchanting home in one of Japan’s largest theme parks, Huis Ten Bosch, situated in the picturesque Nagasaki Prefecture. This extensive park, renowned for its recreation of a Dutch townscape, becomes a canvas for the brilliant light displays of the festival. Its numerous attractions, canals, and historic Dutch buildings offer a unique backdrop unlike any other in Japan, enhancing the magical atmosphere created by the millions of lights.
Huis Ten Bosch is easily accessible from Nagasaki Airport, which is the nearest airport to the park. The distance between the airport and the festival is about 22 kilometers (13.7 miles), making it a convenient gateway for international and domestic visitors.
From Nagasaki Airport to Huis Ten Bosch:
- By Train: One of the most efficient ways to reach Huis Ten Bosch from Nagasaki Airport is by train. Take the JR Omura Line from Nagasaki Airport to Huis Ten Bosch Station. The journey typically takes about an hour and offers a scenic route into the heart of Nagasaki Prefecture.
- By Bus: Regular shuttle buses run directly from Nagasaki Airport to Huis Ten Bosch, providing a direct and stress-free option for travelers. The bus ride takes approximately 50 minutes.
- By Car: Renting a car from Nagasaki Airport gives you the flexibility to travel at your own pace. The drive to Huis Ten Bosch takes about an hour, following a straightforward route that is well-signposted.
Getting to Huis Ten Bosch by Train from Major Cities:
- From Tokyo:
- Take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Hakata Station (Fukuoka).
- Transfer to the JR Kamome Limited Express, heading to Nagasaki Station.
- From Nagasaki Station, switch to the JR Seaside Liner for Huis Ten Bosch Station.
- From Osaka:
- Board the Sanyo Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station to Hakata Station (Fukuoka).
- Change to the JR Kamome Limited Express to Nagasaki Station.
- Transfer at Nagasaki Station for the JR Seaside Liner to Huis Ten Bosch Station.
- From Kyoto:
- Take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen from Kyoto Station to Hakata Station (Fukuoka).
- Then, take the JR Kamome Limited Express to Nagasaki Station.
- At Nagasaki Station, switch to the JR Seaside Liner, which will take you to Huis Ten Bosch Station.
- From Fukuoka:
- From Hakata Station (Fukuoka), get on the JR Kamome Limited Express to Nagasaki Station.
- Finally, transfer to the JR Seaside Liner bound for Huis Ten Bosch Station.
If you’re in Asia, you can also check out these other amazing lights festivals:
As the sun sets and dusk envelops the sky, the Kingdom of Lights at Huis Ten Bosch begins its nightly transformation into a luminescent paradise. The festival hours are typically set from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM, offering guests ample time to explore and immerse themselves in the breathtaking world of lights. These hours are thoughtfully chosen to ensure that visitors can experience the full majesty of the light installations under the cover of darkness, truly highlighting the brilliance and intricacy of each display.
Cost to Visit the Festival
The Kingdom of Lights at Huis Ten Bosch offers two ticket options, allowing visitors to choose according to their plans and preferences:
- Evening Entry (After 5:00 PM): Priced at 4000 Yen (approximately $26.59), this ticket is ideal for those who wish to experience the festival exclusively. It’s a perfect choice for guests who want to immerse themselves in the radiant beauty of the lights, taking in the enchanting night-time atmosphere of the park.
- Full Day Pass: For those eager to enjoy both the daytime attractions of Huis Ten Bosch and the mesmerizing Kingdom of Lights, the full day pass, priced at 7000 Yen (about $46.53), is an excellent option. This pass provides access to the park for the entire day, letting you explore the various cultural and recreational activities by day and bask in the glow of millions of lights by night.
Weather and What to Wear
Since the Kingdom of Lights at Huis Ten Bosch is a year-round event, visitors can expect to experience the full range of Japan’s distinct seasonal weather. Japan’s climate varies significantly throughout the year, influencing what you might wear and carry during your visit.
Spring (March to May):
- Weather: Generally mild with a gradual warm-up. Cherry blossoms bloom in early spring, bringing a touch of magic to the already enchanting light festival.
- Recommended Clothing: Light jackets, long-sleeve shirts, and comfortable layers are ideal for handling the variable temperatures.
Summer (June to August):
- Weather: Hot and humid, with occasional rain. Summer evenings can still be quite warm, enhancing the vibrancy of the light festival.
- Recommended Clothing: Breathable, light clothing. A hat and sunglasses are advisable for daytime, and a thin jacket might be handy for cooler evenings.
Autumn (September to November):
- Weather: Cool and crisp, with foliage turning Japan into a canvas of red, orange, and yellow hues—a magnificent backdrop for the light displays.
- Recommended Clothing: Medium layers, such as long-sleeve tops and light sweaters. A comfortable jacket is essential for the cooler nights.
Winter (December to February):
- Weather: Cold, sometimes snowy, especially in the northern regions and in the mountains. The crisp air and clear nights make for a stunning light spectacle.
- Recommended Clothing: Warm clothing is a must—think heavy coats, scarves, gloves, and hats to stay cozy while enjoying the festival of lights.
Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby
After a mesmerizing evening wandering amidst millions of twinkling lights, you’ll need a cozy place to rest and reflect on the day’s experiences. Here are some top hotel picks near the Kingdom of Lights:
Nestled just a short walk from the light exhibition, Hotel Europe offers a blend of luxury and convenience. Boasting stunning views that can sweep you off your feet, this hotel provides an experience of elegance and grandeur. The rooms are tastefully decorated, reflecting European charm and sophistication. Guests can enjoy amenities like free Wi-Fi, an on-site gourmet restaurant, and a spa, making it an ideal retreat for those looking to indulge in comfort and style.
Located right in the heart of Huis Ten Bosch, Hotel Amsterdam captures the essence of Dutch elegance. This hotel is not just about its convenient location; it’s an experience in itself. The rooms, inspired by traditional Dutch architecture, offer a unique blend of historical charm and modern comfort. With free Wi-Fi, easy access to the park’s attractions, and dining options featuring both local and international cuisine, Hotel Amsterdam is perfect for guests who want to immerse themselves in the festival’s spirit day and night.
Watermark Hotel Nagasaki, Huis Ten Bosch
If your taste leans towards the contemporary, the Watermark Hotel Nagasaki in Huis Ten Bosch is the place to stay. This chic hotel stands out with its modern aesthetics and comfortable ambiance. It’s an ideal spot for those who appreciate a touch of modernity after a day exploring the historical and magical light festival. The rooms offer a sleek, minimalist design with all the essential amenities, including complimentary Wi-Fi. It’s a stylish haven for relaxation and a great base for your festival adventure.
What to Eat
Embark on a gastronomic journey as you explore the flavors that complement the visual feast of the Kingdom of Lights. Here’s where you can satiate your hunger:
Located conveniently within the vicinity of Huis Ten Bosch, Toriaezu Gohei is a popular dining spot famous for its local Sasebo burger. This mouth-watering burger is not just a meal; it’s a culinary icon of the region, offering a unique and delicious twist on the classic American hamburger. With its juicy patty, fresh local ingredients, and a perfectly toasted bun, it’s a must-try for any visitor looking to experience the local flavors.
For those who are keen to dive deep into the authentic tastes of Japan, Maguroya presents an array of exquisite seafood dishes. Situated close to the festival, this restaurant specializes in serving fresh, high-quality tuna among other seafood delicacies. Whether you’re in the mood for sushi, sashimi, or a hearty tuna bowl, Maguroya’s menu showcases the rich and diverse flavors of the ocean, all prepared with traditional Japanese culinary techniques.
If you’re a fan of unagi (eel), then a visit to Izumiya is a must. Known for their charcoal-grilled eel, this restaurant provides a rustic and authentic Japanese dining experience. The eel, grilled to perfection, offers a crispy skin on the outside with tender, flavorful meat on the inside, served traditionally over rice with a savory sauce. Located not too far from the light festival, Izumiya’s warm and inviting ambiance makes it the perfect spot to enjoy this classic Japanese delicacy.
More Things to Do in the Area
While the Kingdom of Lights is an enchanting experience, the surrounding area of Huis Ten Bosch and Nagasaki Prefecture offers a myriad of activities and sights, promising more memorable adventures.
The Dutch-inspired Theme Park
Huis Ten Bosch itself, beyond being the host of the light festival, is a remarkable attraction. Modeled after a Dutch town, this theme park features replicas of old Dutch buildings, picturesque canals, and iconic windmills, creating a European ambiance in the heart of Japan. Visitors can stroll along the cobblestone streets, enjoy boat rides on the canals, and explore a variety of shops, museums, and seasonal gardens. It’s a unique opportunity to experience a slice of the Netherlands in Asia.
Nagasaki Bio Park
Just a short drive from Huis Ten Bosch, the Nagasaki Bio Park offers a chance to connect with nature and wildlife. This interactive zoo and botanical garden allow visitors to get up close and personal with a range of animals in semi-open environments. Feed capybaras, interact with lemurs, and observe the vibrant flora and fauna. It’s an engaging experience for families and nature lovers, providing fun, learning, and relaxation amidst the beauty of nature.
Nagasaki Peace Park
Reflecting on history and the importance of peace, the Nagasaki Peace Park is a solemn yet uplifting destination. Located at the epicenter of the atomic bomb explosion of 1945, this park is dedicated to promoting peace and commemorating the bomb victims. Visitors can view the iconic Peace Statue, explore the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, and walk through the beautifully landscaped grounds. It’s a place for contemplation and understanding, offering a poignant reminder of the past and a hopeful look towards a peaceful future.
A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Kingdom of Lights
As the night falls and the Kingdom of Lights begins to twinkle, it’s clear that this festival is more than just an exhibition; it’s a journey into a world where light, art, and nature intertwine magically. Whether you’re a lighting enthusiast, a culture seeker, or simply in love with the beauty of illumination, this festival and its surrounding attractions in Huis Ten Bosch offer an unforgettable experience. So come immerse yourself in the glow, embrace the charm of Nagasaki, and create memories that will light up your heart long after the lights dim.
- Is parking available at the festival?
- Yes, there is ample parking available at Huis Ten Bosch. Parking fees apply, and it’s recommended to arrive early during peak seasons to secure a spot.
- Are pets allowed in the festival?
- Pets are not typically allowed inside Huis Ten Bosch theme park, except for service animals. Please check the park’s latest guidelines for any updates.
- Is the Kingdom of Lights wheelchair accessible?
- Yes, the festival and the majority of Huis Ten Bosch are wheelchair accessible, ensuring everyone can enjoy the magical experience.
- Can we smoke inside the festival area?
- Smoking is not permitted in the open areas of the park. However, designated smoking areas are available throughout Huis Ten Bosch.
- Are there any age restrictions for the Kingdom of Lights?
- The festival is suitable for all ages. Children should be accompanied by an adult.
- Can tickets to the Kingdom of Lights be purchased online?
- Yes, tickets can be bought online in advance or at the ticket booths on arrival. Online purchase might offer discounts and help in avoiding long queues.
- What should I do if I lose something during my visit?
- Lost and found services are available at the theme park. It’s advised to report any lost items to the nearest staff member or information center.
- Are there ATMs inside the park?
- Yes, several ATMs are available within Huis Ten Bosch, ensuring visitors have easy access to cash if needed.