Osaka is the third largest city in Japan, a very unique and special place to visit especially at Christmas and New Year. Whilst Tokyo is at the forefront of people’s minds when thinking about this fascinating island, Osaka has a laid back attitude and many interesting places to explore. The friendly character of the locals and openness for foreign travelers means it’s probably the easiest Japanese city to have great fun and a really good time. So, enjoy the huge array of delicious food available, shop till you drop and of course celebrate this festive time of year in this wonderful place.
Festival of lights in Osaka
During the holiday season one of the main attractions for everyone are the incredible illuminations across the city named Festival of Lights. This is an absolute must when traveling to Osaka during the festive Christmas holidays. There are a number of places where you can experience this fantastic spectacle, key places are the popular Mido-Suji Illumination 2018 and Osaka Hikari-Renaissance 2018. From the 1st of November until the 31st of December the beautiful 4 km long avenue in Mido-Suji is lined with stunning blue and yellow LED lights, creating a pathway of brilliance guiding you along this popular street. Starting on the 14th December through until Christmas day the beautiful art festival can be seen at the Nakanoshima Park. One of Osaka’s main historical treasures is the breathtaking castle. This also will be illuminated with 3 million colorful LED lights showing the 150 year Japanese eras from the Edo and Meiji periods.
Top attractions to explore on your trip
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Osaka is the Universal Studios Japan. Along with the Tokyo Disney resort, Universal Studios is one of the best amusement parks in the world! It is visited by a huge amount of tourists each year but during Christmas time they hold special Universal Wonder Christmas shows and performances. Two of these brilliant highlighted shows are The Gift of Angels III and The Voice of an Angel. They have also announced that this will be the grand finale this year, so don’t miss out on the opportunity of witnessing this incredible performance for the very last time. Another enjoyable and fun place to visit is the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Located in the bay area of Osaka City this huge aquarium, one of the world’s largest will come to life with giant visual sea creatures and astonishing animals.
Amazing parks and gardens
If you are looking for some outdoor activities during your visit to Osaka, then the Expo’70 Commemorative Park in Suita is a great place to explore and discover. The park is a huge 260-hectare wide area with some beautiful gardens and fascinating museums. One stunning piece of sculpture and creativity in the grounds is the symbol of the park named the Tower of the Sun. Famous Japanese artist Taro Okamoto created this incredible 70 meters tall towering shrine, with three faces symbolizing the sun of the past, the present and the future. At Christmas time this wonderful shrine is used as a screen for 3D projection mapping with exciting soundscapes and audio. Also surrounding the park are hundreds of thousands of twinkling festive LED lights and plenty of fun activities for families and children to enjoy.
Where to spend New Year’s Eve in Osaka
With the excitement of a New Year approaching, the people of Osaka celebrate in a number of ways. At the mouth of the stunning Yodo river locals gather closely on the banks, wrapped up in warm clothes waiting with anticipation to see the incredible spectacle of fireworks. Lighting up the sky with a huge vibrant display are hundreds of explosive rockets, sending ripples of color reflecting across the waters below. If you are looking for something a little less crowded and dramatic, a traditional festival called Hatsumode takes place at various shrines and temples across the city to mark the first prayer of the year.
Smithy has been a professional content and copywriter for many years. His writing experience has crossed over various areas including; travel magazines, websites, blogs, and press releases. His love for travel and his work has taken him around the world. He has a real passion and flare for creativity and the arts in all its forms. He has recently joined the HotelQuickly team as Senior Content Manager.