Every year from late November, Fukuoka City transforms into a glimmering night-time spectacle, as shops and public spaces display elaborate Christmas lights. Check out Fukuoka Now’s Illumination Guide for this year’s recommended spots. From Fukuoka Airport to the Hakata Station area, Canal City Hakata and Tenjin area, to as far as Kitakyushu, and Nagasaki’s Huis Ten Bosch, our guide this year is bigger and better than ever! Happy holidays!
Hotel Nikko Fukuoka Christmas Decoration 2017
Step into a classic, international Christmas feel as soon as you enter Hotel Nikko Fukuoka. The hotel interior is warmly decorated in hues of red and gold and 3,000 champagne gold-colored lights. A huge, 6-meter tall Christmas tree will greet visitors at the first floor main lobby.
Canal City: Aqua Illumination
Canal City has a 15m tall Christmas tree as well as a variety of water-themed illuminations. Every night, the Mall’s canal becomes a stage for the multisensory ‘Aqua’ Illumination Show (18:30, 19:30, 20:30). This year’s shows artistically weave together water, light, and music from the Korean group Tohoshinki.
• 11/11 (Sat.) ~ 1/14/2018 (Sun.)
• 17:00~24:00 (Star Tree lit up from 10:00)
• Number of LED lights unannounced
• Canal City Hakata, Main Tree on B1F Sun Plaza Stage
• 1-2 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku
• 092-282-2525 (Canal City Hakata Information Service Center)
Hakata Riverain Christmas 2017
Snow crystals shine down from the riverside wall of Hakata Riverain Mall. The front entrance and inside the building are also decorated with Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees with ‘chic’ decorations. Trees lining the street between Hakataza Theater and Riverain are lit up, too!
Fukuoka Airport: Tenku no Hikari Gekijo
The illuminations at Fukuoka Airport are modelled on winter star constellations, with a 115m-long planetarium-style illumination based on Greek mythology (from which many constellations draw their names). This year, illuminations will welcome passengers and visitors from the first floor, too!
• 11/11 (Sat.) ~ 2/19 (Mon.)
• About 300,000 lights
• Fukuoka Airport, International terminal 1F, 3F and 4F
• 739 Oaza Aoki, Hakata-ku
• 092-623-0523 (9:00~17:30)
JR Hakata Station – Hikari no Machi Hakata (Hakata, City of Lights)
In celebration of JR Hakata City’s seventh year, an impressive 800,000 lights form a large-scale, romantic winter illumination with this year’s theme “In The Light”. Take friends old and new to enjoy this City of Lights, including the “LED Sky Screen” displaying cheery Christmas messages. Plenty of Christmas events to enjoy alongside the illuminations and you mustn’t forget to visit the Hakata Christmas Market.
• 11/14 (Tue.) ~ 1/19/2018 (Tue.)
• About 800,000 LED lights
• JR Hakataekimae Hiroba
• 1-1 Chuogai, Hakata-ku (in front of JR Hakata Sta.)
• 092-431-8484 (JR Hakata City Amu Plaza Hakata Information)
Bayside Place Hakata: Bayside Illumination ~Port of Light~
The whole of the Bayside Place Hakata area is gorgeously lit up with an array of Christmas lights – even their palm trees! Enjoy the view while taking a romantic stroll down one of the boardwalks. A date spot popular with young people and couples.
Daimaru: 2017 Romantic Fantasy
Every Christmas, the passage between the Daimaru buildings becomes a glittering spectacle. A 12m Christmas tree is the centerpiece, with a papercut-themed photo spot designed by British visual artist Rob Ryan. A stage will be set up for Christmas concerts and other fun events.
• 12/23 (Sat., hol.) Fukuoka Futaba Elementary School hand bell performance: 13:00~, 15:00~, 17:00~
• 12/24 (Sun.) Kumamoto Commercial High School Christmas charity concert: 12:30~, 13:50~, 15:10~
• 11/3 (Fri., hol.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.)
• 9:30~23:00 *12/25: ~21:00
• Number of LED lights unannounced
• Daimaru Tenjin Elgala Passage Hiroba
• 1-4-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Dreams Come True Winter Fantasia 2017 x Tenjin Chikagai
The 590-meter-long north and south corridors of Tenjin Chikagai will be decorated with 150 sparkling white Christmas trees for a European winter season feel! This year, each of the Chikagai’s open spaces boasts of original decorations and ceilings illuminated with tens of thousands of champagne-colored lights. Unlike many of Fukuoka’s illuminations, you need not wait till dark, as the Chikagai is lit throughout the day.
Solaria Stage: Xmas 2017
Special christmas gardens will bloom at Solaria Stage this year! Enjoy the artistic winter flower arrangements located in front of Aoyama Flower Market (1F), the south exit (1F) and in front of the elevators (B2F). There will be live performances from local artists every Sat. and Sun. until Dec. 25 (Christmas Day, Mon.), too.
Solaria Plaza X’mas
Solaria Plaza’s atrium will house a huge Christmas tree over the Christmas period. The tree will be complemented by the assorted greenery that is usually housed in Solaria Plaza’s Atrium as well as a vast array of Christmas decorations. Enter from Kirameki-dori Ave. and be dazzled by the sparkling pathway, too.
Fukuoka Mitsukoshi: “Make It Happy!”
The corridor from the newly renovated Lion Hiroba to Mitsukoshi’s entrance will be kitted out with happy, colorful Christmas decorations guaranteed to lift your spirits this year! Check out the statues of lions dolled up for the occasion, too.
Iwataya Department Store
Fir trees grown in Kuju, Oita are majestically illuminated and displayed in front of the main building. Iwataya’s main Christmas tree for this year is a Colorado spruce tree, rarely seen in Japan! Enjoy illuminations lining up along Kirameki-dori Ave. too, making the name of the street (which means “sparkling” in Japanese) come true!
Mina Tenjin: Mina White Xmas 2017
Have a “Warm Christmas” at Tenjin Mina. A gently-lit Christmas tree greets shoppers at the Tenjin Hashiguchi intersection entrance.
Vioro: Starlight Illumination
Star-gazers will love this luxurious illumination, which depicts a night sky full of stars twinkling to music. Fabulously chic.
• 11/10 (Fri.) ~ 1/8/2018 (Mon., hol.)
• Number of LED lights unannounced
• VIORO 1F Pillars by Main Entrance
• 2-10-3 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
• 092-771-1001 (head of VIORO)
Shintencho Galaxy Christmas
The shopping arcade Shintencho Shotengai, accessible from Nishitetsu Fukuoka Sta., is famous for its gigantic clock which rings hourly to tell the time. Visit this winter season to see it illuminated with man-made snow flurries!
• 11/22 (Wed.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.)
• About 130,000 LED lights
• Shintencho Shotengai clock tower
• 2-9 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk: Christmas Train 2017
The Hilton’s decorations feature a 101 square meter model of a wintery European town with a huge model train track and a train whizzing through it. The trains are decorated with corporate logos of companies that have pledged money to local orphanages. The display uses G-gage trains by the famous German train-maker Lehmann. Kids (and parents) will love it!
Tenjin Kego Park: Tenjin Hikari Square 2017
Kego Park will be filled with color and light this holiday season. Enter from the police box area and be mesmerized by the “River of Light” illumination. Take your kids to ride on the yearly hit mini Christmas train, or gaze upon this year’s attraction: the 7.2-meter tall “Christmas Star”. Enjoy the many illuminations from the park, or check out the scene from above by climbing one of the surrounding buildings (many have restaurants and/or cafes overlooking the illuminations).
• 15:00~21:00 (weekday), 14:00~21:00 (Sat., Sun., and hol.)
• Closed: 12/31 (Sun.) and 1/1 (Mon., hol.)
• Children 3 y.o. and below must be accompanied by a guardian
IMS Christmas 2017
The theme this year is “Bloom”, for those who believe in Santa Claus and those who wish for their loved ones this Christmas. A giant, rainbow-colored flower twinkles at the B2 floor of IMS Plaza. Definitely Instagram-worthy!
Ohori Park Winter Illumination
Ohori Park is one of the most scenic places in Fukuoka, and every winter it is lit up in spectacular style. Lights will run across the bridge through the middle of park’s lake, and the trees surrounding the lake will be decorated with thousands of lights. Nakanoshima, the island in the middle of the lake, is well-known as a romantic date spot!
Bank of Fukuoka: “Onto a New Future Together With the People”
The Bank of Fukuoka head office designed by leading Japanese architect Kishi Kurokawa is known for its wide, high-vaulted open square where people can relax, offering a coffee stand during the day. During the winter season, a champagne gold-colored tower of lights brightens the area! Don’t miss the free live music on Dec. 17 (Sun.), too.
Urban Canyon Christmas Music Festival: Wishes for the Reconstruction of Northern Kyushu
• 12/17 (Sun.)
• Performers: May J., Ayasa, Haki Junior High School brass band club and more
• Special booth: Asakura Triple Water Wheel
• 11/17 (Fri.) ~ 1/8/2018 (Mon., hol.)
• Number of LED lights unannounced
• Bank of Fukuoka Head Office Hiroba
• 2-13-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Akasaka Chapelle Des Anges: Happy Christmassy
The theme of Chapelle Des Anges’ 2017 display is “Happy Christmassy”. The church building will be warmly lit up, giving off a magical air. Christmas Candle Night will be held on Dec. 24 (Sun.), and the chapel will be open to the public to enjoy the seasonal atmosphere.
• 11/3 (Fri., hol.) ~ 2/25/2018 (Sun.)
• 17:00~23:00 (gates close: 19:00)
• Number of lights unannounced
• Akasaka Chapelle Des Anges
• 1-1-5 Otemon, Chuo-ku
Ropponmatsu 421: Roppon-no Kirameki
Ropponmatsu has been gaining attention as a new commercial area in Fukuoka, especially since the opening of Ropponmatsu 421 in September. Known as the former site of the Ropponmatsu campus of Kyushu University, the annual illumination held there has expanded into a 200-meter wide display this year! See snowmen and more in the area near Ropponmatsu subway station. It’s an illumination filled with warmth, especially with the trees decorated by neighborhood children!
• 11/23 (Thu., hol.) ~ 1/9/2018 (Tue.)
• About 100,000 LED lights
• Ropponmatsu 421, MJR Ropponmatsu
• 4-2-1 Ropponmatsu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Marinoa City Fukuoka: Sweet Christmas
Kyushu’s biggest shopping outlet mall gives you a ‘Sweet, Warm Christmas’! Admire the 6-meter tall Christmas tree, candy-filled Santa House, doughnut-themed play area and more spots perfect for taking fun photos. On the Sky Wheel, Marinoa’s Ferris Wheel (adult ¥500, child ¥200), there will be several Christmas-themed installations, including a snowflake, a Christmas tree, a ribbon and a bell.
Fukuoka City Yacht Harbor Illumination 2017
The Fukuoka Yacht Harbor will be illuminated with approximately 100,000 LED lights, casting a wintery glow across the moored yachts. We recommend you to go a little early and enjoy the sunset over Imazu Bay, and watch as the lights appear in the darkening night sky. Make sure to dress warmly to protect yourself from the cool sea breeze.
Fukuoka Tower – Momochi Blue Light Illumination 2017
Head to Fukuoka Tower to catch a glimpse of the 108-meter-tall Christmas tree in five different colors. The tower’s state-of-the-art LED lights will be used to depict snowfall and colourful Christmas ornaments. Don’t miss your chance to see Santa, everyone once a while the big man will appear in the tower! The trees surrounding the tower will be decorated with pretty blue lights, contributing to the seasonal atmosphere.
Uminaka Christmas Candle Night
Feel the warmth of Christmas with the gently flickering lights of 10,000 candles. This year’s theme is “Christmas at Sea” and will feature candles arranged in designs submitted by and voted on by the public. Then at 19:30 each evening enjoy a display of 300 fireworks against the backdrop of Hakata Bay.
• 12/23 (Sat., hol.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.) *Canceled in case of inclement weather
• 17:30~21:30 (last entry: 21:00)
• Number of LED lights unannounced
• Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
• 18-25 Saitozaki, Higashi-ku
Aeon Mall Fukuoka Merry Photogenic Christmas
Aeon Mall Fukuoka wishes you a Merry Photogenic Christmas! The mall turns into a ‘dream castle’ with an 8-meter tree Christmas tree inside the main plaza. Take lots of photos at the many cute photos spots around the tree, decorated with colorful lights and ornaments.
• 11/10 (Fri.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.)
• About 24,500 LED lights
• Aeon Mall Fukuoka
• 192-1 Aza Oinoki, Oaza Sakado, Kasuya-machi, Kasuya-gun, Fukuoka
Michi no Eki Oto Sakura Kaido
Though it’s not an amusement park, Michi no Eki (roadside station) Oto Sakura Kaido prides itself for its yearly, large-scale illumination. This year’s theme is “Castle and Aquarium”. The illuminations are lit up until 22:30 but the station is only open until 18:30. So visit early and do some shopping too!
• 11/24 (Fri.) ~ 1/31 (Wed.)
• About 550,000 LED lights
• Michi no Eki Oto Sakura Kaido
• 1339 Imatobaru, Oto-machi, Tagawa-gun
Space World Kitakyushu: Illumination Night
Explore the magic of a Christmas/space-hybrid fantasy at Space World! With the theme park closing on Dec. 31, enjoy their final month with elaborate illuminations of 3,500,000 lights including the “Falling Star Dome” with blue lights twinkling to music, the lit-up huge rock wall “Shining Rock” and more.
• 11/18 (Sat.) ~ 12/31 (Sun.)
• 17:30 ~ closing time
• 3,500,000 lights
• Space World
• 4-1-1 Higashida, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka
• 093-672-3600 (Information Center 9:00~17:00)
Riverwalk Kitakyushu: Santa Comes Out to Play Christmas
Riverwalk Kitakyushu hosts a range of Christmas events aimed at couples, groups of friends and families. With this year’s theme “Santa Comes Out to Play”, admire the 15-meter tall Christmas tree and the “Shooting Star Illumination” at the Mystic Court open square. Catch the light and music show every day at 13:00, and at 17:00 the trees along Kokura Castle will be lit up, too.
• 11/3 (Fri., hol.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.) *partially till mid-Feb. 2018
• 10:00~22:00 (trees outside: 17:00~22:00)
• About 30,000 lights
• Riverwalk Kitakyushu
• 1-1-1 Muromachi, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka
Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Lights
True to its name, Huis Ten Bosch’s Kingdom of Lights is one of the world’s largest illuminations with 13,000,000 lights. From Nov. 25 to Nov. 30, enjoy the 110-meter long 3D projection mapping show, Palace Huis Ten Bosch. The 33-meter tall Tree of Light Sky makes a comeback this year, with lights twinkling in time with music. Climb up to the Cafe of Light Sky (opened on Nov. 3) located in front of the Waterfall of Light and enjoy the view of ‘flowing water’ with the cafe’s glass floors!
12/2 (Sat.), 12/3 (Sun.): Church of Light
12/16 (Sat.), 12/17 (Sun.), 12/22 (Fri.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.): Santa DJ Party
12/23 (Sat., hol.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.): Christmas Special Fireworks Show
• 11/3 (Fri., hol.) ~ 5/6 (Sun.)
• Sundown ~ 22:00 (last entry 21:00)
• About 13,000,000 LED lights
• Huis Ten Bosch
• 1-1 Huis Ten Bosch-machi, Sasebo, Nagasaki
• 0570-064-110 (General information)
NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by the Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy, there might be errors and details may have changed. If you notice any errors or changes, please contact us. This report was originally written in Nov. 2017.