Nagashima Resort’s flower park, otherwise known as Nabana No Sato, hosts special seasonal events all year. The most stunning of the events is the Winter Festival of Lights. Thousands of bright lights create a winter wonderland of illumination and cheer for guests to enjoy from November through to March each year.
Since it is a 40 minutes drive from Nagoya, Nabana No Sato is far enough away that it can be a challenge to access if you don’t have a rental car, but it is well worth the effort. During the Winter season there is an increase in buses for the festival. You can catch a bus from the Meitetsu Bus Center, located next to Nagoya Station, that will take you directly to Nabana No Sato for 890 JPY (about 8.80 USD). Alternatively, if you have the JR Rail Pass you can take a train from Nagoya station to Nagashima station. From Nagashima station, the park is a 40 minute walk or a 25 minute bus ride which costs around 250 JPY (2.47 USD), the more expensive option is taking a 10 minute taxi.
Nabana No Sato features a large array of entertaining floral sections. The most notable of these is the Botanical Garden. Hundreds of brightly colored Begonias line walls and fill pools of water for every guest’s photo opportunity and enjoyment. During the Winter Illumination, ticket prices are 2300 JPY (22.70 USD) for adults and children above the age of 12, those under the age of 12 get in for free. The purchase of your tickets at the front gate includes a coupon that can be used as either your entrance into the botanical garden or a discount coupon worth 1000 JPY (approximately 9.96 USD) for dinner.
Plenty of food options
While wandering around the beautiful and spacious park, you may start to get hungry. There are plenty of food options to fit all hunger and budget levels. The park offers vending machines, food vendors, and full service restaurants throughout. During the festival of lights the restaurants do tend to get very crowded, so show up early to ensure that there’s no wait for a table. Food vendors use the popular ticket system found in most parts of Japan. You will have to order your food and pay for it at the vending machine, then bring the receipt to the appropriate vendor to collect your food.
The illumination show
The Winter Festival of Lights at Nabana No Sato is the highlight of the winter season. As dusk settles down into darkness, the lights sprinkled throughout the park start to illuminate. A crowd typically gathers at the entrance of the illumination show. The illumination show’s opening time varies daily, opening only when it is completely dark. Once opened, the crowd filters through the tunnel of lights. After being led through a tunnel and around illuminated pathways, the music rises and the main show starts.
The theme of the event changes every year, previous years have included: Mt. Fuji, Niagara Falls, and the Swiss Alps. The changing themes each year allows you to re-visit the park each year and experience something different every time. The light show tends to last about 10 minutes and repeats throughout the night until it closes at 9pm, allowing you to watch the entire show multiple times. After you have finished viewing the main light show, there is a second decorative pathway and tunnel that leads you back out to the main park.
Best of many
Nabana No Sato is just one of many wonderful winter light illumination shows available throughout Japan, but it is one of the biggest and most unique. It is a great way to celebrate the winter season in a way that also isn’t bound to the usual Christmas themes of Santa, elves and candy canes. Stop by at Nabana No Sato the next time you’re in Nagoya in winter.
Address: 270 Komae, Nagashima-cho, Kuwana City, Mie 511-1144 Access: from Nagoya25 min. by train to Nagashima on JR Line and 10 min. by non-stop direct bus Winter illuminations15th: Oct 2016 ~ 7th May 2017Hours9.00 ~ 21.00 (weekends close at 22.00) *Illumination starts at around 18.00 (depends on the month) Admission fees: 2,100 yen (inclusive of in-store voucher worth 1,000 yen) Hotel: Booking here!!