As the days shorten and the city sparkles with lights, it’s the season for illumination. Fukuoka Now has updated its annual feature “Illumination Guide” once again. We introduce you to illumination spots you can enjoy around Fukuoka, including Tenjin and Hakata, as well as Kitakyushu and Nagasaki. Each spot offers a different atmosphere and scale, so enjoy cruising around to see the various illuminations!
▷Large map – Winter Illumination Guide
Illumination spots in Fukuoka and other parts of Kyushu
• Hakata-ku, Fukuoka (7)
• Chuo-ku, Fukuoka (9)
• Sawara-ku, Fukuoka (1)
• Higashi-ku, Fukuoka (1)
• Nishi-ku, Fukuoka (1)
• Tagawa-gun, Fukuoka (1)
• Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka (4)
• Nagasaki Prefecture (1)
JR Hakata Station: Hikari no Machi Hakata 2023
The annual winter illumination “City of Light – Hakata,” which brightens up the area in front of Hakata Station, is now in its 13th year, having started simultaneously with the opening of JR Hakata City. The trees in front of the station are adorned with lights, and the large roof shines with illuminations reminiscent of a starry sky. Beneath the large clock, a pathway features a “Sky Walk” with LED lights undulating along its approximately 70-meter length, and the area is decorated with ten types of illuminations. In line with this year’s illumination theme, “Welcome Home,” a new gate of light has been installed to greet visitors. From November 6th to December 25th, a Christmas market also begins, with the gentle lights of the specially set up huts (Hütte) adding to the area’s romantic mood.
• 11/1 (Wed.) ~ 1/8 (Mon., hol.)
• Approx. 620,000 LED lights
• JR Hakata Ekimae Hiroba
• 1-1 Hakataeki-chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka (in front of JR Hakata Sta.)
Kyushu Live! – Christmas Market in Fukuoka 2022 – First Night!（Nov. 11, 2023)
Tsubame no Mori Illumination – JR Hakata City Rooftop
A little-known spot for sunset viewing is Tsubame no Mori Hiroba. From the rooftop, one can overlook the area around Hakata Station, which is also adorned with illuminations as Christmas approaches. The entire wall along the approach to the Tetsudo Shrine is lit up, creating a path of light.
• 12/1 (Fri.) ~ 1/11 (Thu.)
• JR Hakata City
• 1-1 Hakataeki-chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Canal City Hakata: Canal Winter Illumination 2023
The illumination of Canal City creates an extraordinary space with lights spreading all over the building. Symbolic spots throughout the pavilion will be illuminated, including the “Wall of Light” that shines along the entire wall, and the “River of Light” that fills the canal from north to south, 180 meters long, with light. During the period, the fountain show and projection mapping show during the lighting hours will be a special version linked to the illumination.
Nakasu Hikari no Advent
Blue and gold LED lights will illuminate the streets of Nakasu, connecting the Hakata and Tenjin venues of the Christmas Market. A large tree will appear in front of the “Fukuhaku Deai Bridge” and the “Hotel Resol Trinity Hakata” hotel.
• 11/2 (Thu.) ~ 1/8 (Mon., hol.)
• Nakasu area, Fukuoka City (Nakasu Chuo-dori, Nakagawa-dori, Meiji-dori, Fukuhaku Deai Bridge)
Cross Night Haruyoshi Bridge
The Nakagawa and Haruyoshi Bridge riverfront area is adorned with a light entertainment show. First held to coincide with the 2023 Summer World Aquatics Championships, this event has now expanded its range and powered up! From 18:15 to 23:00 every hour, at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour, there will be a 15-minute show combining illuminations, lasers, and music. During the event, a night market will also take place on the Haruyoshi Bridge upper plaza, with live performances by artists during the intervals of the light show.
• 11/10 (Fri.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.) *rain or shine, but it may be canceled in case of severe weather.
• Night Market: 17:00~23:00 (L.O. 22:50)
• Laser show: 18:15~23:00 (every hour at 15 and 45 minutes)
• Free viewing
• Around Haruyoshi Bridge Detour Bridge Plaza
• 1-3 Nakasu, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Hakata Riverain Mall Christmas
Hakata Riverain Mall Refreshes Christmas Decorations! With “Heartful Christmas” as the motif, guests are welcomed by an entrance designed to look like a gift box. The 9-meter-high pillar at the main entrance is wrapped with Hakata-ori ribbons, and the Riverain Street, which runs between the mall and the adjacent Hakataza Theater, as well as the Hotel Okura Fukuoka, shines with illuminations.
Bayside Place Hakata: Illumination 2023-2024
This annual illumination event brings a splash of vibrant color to the Bay Area during the winter season. The entire edifice is bathed in the glow of neon lights, with palm trees, deck fences, and the nearby Hakata Port Tower also joining in the luminescent celebration, infusing the entire bayside area with festive cheer. Visitors are treated to the added spectacle of lights dancing on the sea’s surface, a mesmerizing display unique to the coastal setting.
• 11/3 (Fri., hol.) ~ 3/24 (Sun.)
• 13-6 Chikkohonmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Tenjin Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas market has blossomed into a cherished winter tradition in Fukuoka. This season, the festivities expand beyond the familiar settings of Hakata Station front and Tenjin City Hall plaza, alongside Daimaru Elgala, to embrace five enchanting locations—including the stately Kihinkan front plaza, the verdant Tenjin Central Park, and the newly minted Daimyo Garden City. The plaza in front of Fukuoka City Hall, bathed in the gentle embrace of luminous light, is transformed into a whimsical Christmas wonderland. A majestic arch beckons visitors into a realm adorned with a towering Christmas tree and quaint huts (Hütte) festooned in yuletide finery, while a brigade of 100 Santas offers a jolly welcome to all.
• 11/17 (Fri.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.) *Not open on Nov. 25 (Sat.) and 26 (Sun.) due to another event.
• Weekdays 17:00~23:00 / Sat., Sun. and hol., 12/25 12:00~23:00
• Fukuoka City Hall Fureai Hiroba, Elgala Passage
• 1-8-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Christmas Gate Park in Daimyo Garden City
Daimyo Garden City, the newest landmark in Fukuoka which opened its doors in June 2023, is already captivating hearts. The much-loved lawn plaza, a favorite nighttime retreat for those looking to recline under the stars, now shimmers in a radiant champagne gold glow thanks to the festive illuminations. Adding to the allure, a charming Christmas market is set to unfold, offering a delightful selection of food, beverages, and trinkets for sale.
• 11/21 (Tue.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.)
• Weekdays 17:00~22:00 / Sat., Sun. and hol. 12:00~22:00
• Fukuoka Daimyo Garden City Plaza
• 2-6-50 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Festa de Santa
The plaza before the Kihinkan is transformed into a dreamlike spectacle, aglow with enchanting lights and graced by a delightful assembly of Santa monuments. Amidst this festive radiance, a charming Christmas market also comes to life, inviting all to partake in the seasonal joy.
• 11/22 (Wed.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.) *Illumination: until 1/8 (Mon., hol.)
• Weekdays 17:00~22:00 / Sat., Sun. and hol. 12:00~22:00
• In front of Kihinkan Hall
• 6-29 Nishi-Nakasu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Tenjin Chuo Park: Forest of Light
The verdant boughs of Tenjin Chuo Park, nestled at the foot of ACROS Fukuoka, come alive with the glow of festive illuminations, setting a dazzling stage for the Christmas market. In concert, ACROS hosts its own grand illumination event, creating a luminous corridor that meanders through Nakasu, connecting the sparkling spectacle all the way to the enchanting lights of Hakata Station, where the merry bustle of the Christmas market awaits.
• 11/16 (Thu.) ~ 12/25 (Mon.) *Illumination: until 1/8 (Mon., hol.)
• Weekdays 17:00~22:00 / Sat., Sun. and hol., 12/25 12:00~22:00
• 1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
ACROS Fukuoka Illumination – Hikari no Mori-
The park side of ACROS Fukuoka, also known as “ACROS Mountain” in Tenjin, features a Step Garden. Here, along the stairway passages, you’ll find animals and dinosaurs crafted from illuminations, leading up to the rooftop. There are also interactive installations like tunnels of light and steps that illuminate when stepped on. It’s a rare opportunity to ascend ACROS after dark.
Event detail (Fukuoka Now): https://www.fukuoka-now.com/en/event/acros-fukuoka-illumination/
• 11/17 (Fri.) ~ 2/4 (Sun.) *rain or shine, canceled in case of inclement weather
• Over JHS ¥1,500, under ES ¥800, free for children under 3 y.o. (¥200 discount for adv. tickets, on sale until 11/16)
• Step Garden, ACROS Fukuoka
• 1-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Tenjin Chikagai: Tenchika Xmas Illumination
Tenjin Chikagai’s corridors, stretching an impressive 590 meters, are transformed into a wintry European dreamscape with 150 gleaming white Christmas trees. In a delightful departure from Fukuoka’s typical light displays, these illuminations can be admired daylong, as the Chikagai basks in a constant, radiant glow. Complementing this spectacle, the plazas within Tenjin Chikagai will glisten with the warm hue of 120,000 champagne gold lights.
Ohori Park: Winter Illumination
This annual illumination began in 2010 in part to improve the moral of citizens and to make the park a place that citizens can be proud of. The Mizuki Bridge and Ukimi-dou, the symbols of Ohori Park, are decorated with LED lights to create a fantastic atmosphere that is different from that of the park during the daytime.
Fukuoka PayPay Dome: Winter Light Fantasy Illumination
The area around Seaside Momochi including the PayPay Dome and BOSS E・ZO FUKUOKA is brightly decorated with illuminations during the winter. In front of Gate 7 of the Fukuoka PayPay Dome, illumination objects and photo spots featuring teddy bears and gift boxes will appear. The adjacent Mark Is Fukuoka Momochi will also have its 2nd-floor Christmas tree and the outdoor deck lit up.
Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk: Christmas Illumination
This holiday season, the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk, a beacon in the Momochi district, will be aglow with breathtaking illuminations. The entrance dazzles with an array of light crystals, while the towering 40-meter atrium of the Brasserie & Lounge Seala is bathed in the twinkle of roughly 28,000 lights, creating the perfect holiday ambiance. On the 4th floor lobby, the beloved annual Christmas Train diorama springs to life, capturing the essence of a European winter with vibrant trains and balloons.
• Illumination: 11/13 (Mon.) ~ 12/26 (Tue.) 17:00~0:00
• Christmas Train 11/14 (Tue.) ~ 1/9 (Tue.) 9:30~13:00, 15:00~21:00
• 2-2-3 Jigyohama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Tower: Momochi ☆ Blue Light Illumination
Fukuoka Tower comes to life this festive season with an awe-inspiring illumination: a colossal Christmas tree reaching a height of 108 meters, shimmering in eight classic hues and featuring an enchanting Santa Claus display. Surrounding the tower, trees are decked out in a serene blue glow, crafting a mesmerizing, dream-like setting against the tower’s majestic silhouette.
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park: Uminaka Candle Night 2023
At Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, the annual winter event bathes the landscape in the soft, warm glow of candles, a tender contrast to the electric dazzle of typical illuminations. This season’s candle art theme, “Kaleidoscope of Light ~ Everyone’s Happy Christmas,” comes to life with 10,000 candles depicting designs chosen from public submissions. The park’s Wonder World area, a haven of play with go-karts and mini steam locomotives, also features whimsical animal-themed illuminations and a captivating display of iridescent soap bubbles.
• 12/16 (Sat.) ~ 12/17 (Sun.), 12/23 (Sat.) ~ 12/24 (Sun.) *cancelled in case of inclement weather
• Park entry after 17:30: over 15 y.o. ¥290, 65 y.o. and over ¥210, free for JHS and under
• West Gate, Outdoor theater, Wonder World
• 18-25 Saitozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka
Fukuoka West Coast Night
The Fukuoka City Sea Fishing Park is enveloped in a blue, fantastical light. For three days from November 17th to 19th, it becomes ‘Night Pier Walk,’ where visitors can freely stroll along the approximately 350-meter-long pier, illuminated with lights. Seasonal offerings include grilled oysters from Karatomari Ebisu, a winter delicacy, along with a selection of kitchen cars serving curry, udon, takoyaki, sweets, and coffee.
• 11/17 (Fri.) ~ 11/26 (Sun.) *Night pier walk, oyster grill and kitchen car only Nov. 17~19
• Free entry
• Fukuoka City Sea Fishing Park
• Ikenoura, Oda, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka
Michi no Eki Oto Sakura Kaido Illumination
The enchanting winter illuminations of Oto Town, renowned for their innovative themes that change yearly, weave a tapestry of light and wonder. The eagerly anticipated theme, often reflecting the year’s most buzzworthy subjects, is unveiled at the grand lighting ceremony, shrouded in secrecy until the spectacular reveal. This year, the grounds will burst into vibrant color with around 650,000 bulbs on November 25th starting at 17:50, marked by a dazzling firework display and celebratory events. This Roadside Station, a gem in Western Japan, not only lights up the night but also offers an open-air bath, a dog park, and a marketplace for local agricultural products.
Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka
Kokura Station: Kokura Illumination 2023
During the winter months, Kokura’s streets come alive with a vibrant display of illuminations. The area boasts 21 unique spots of light installations, including the Instagram-worthy large “KOKURA” monument and a dazzling carpet of lights along the banks of the Murasaki River, near Kokura Station, crafting a luminous winter wonderland.
• 11/2 (Thu.) ~ 2/14 (Wed.)
• JR Kokura Sta., Murasaki River are etc (Illumination Map)
• 1-1-1 Asano, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka
Riverwalk Kitakyushu: Riverwalk 20th Christmas Carnival
RiverWalk Kitakyushu, a grand commercial complex in close proximity to Kokura Castle, is marking its 20th anniversary. The interior is a spectacle of light, with curtains of twinkling particles cascading down the walls and the installation of Kitakyushu’s tallest Christmas tree, soaring to a majestic 15 meters. The rooftop garden, with its view of Kokura Castle, becomes a canvas of light and reflection, featuring holographic reindeer and floral motifs by the waterside that create enchanting reflections.
• 10/24 (Tue.) ~ 2/29 (Thu.)
• Riverwalk Kitakyushu
• 1-1-1 Muromachi, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka
Kanmon Kaikyo Candle Night
Set against the Kanmon Straits, which can be crossed in just five minutes, is one of Japan’s largest candle events. The area is illuminated with 30,000 candles, and in the Moji Port area, a Christmas market with more than 24 vendors selling goods and food is held. A market also takes place in the Shimonoseki area, where food and drink are sold. On the 18th, a bonfire is also planned.
• 11/18 (Sat.), 11/19 (Sun.)
• Admission fee ¥500 (only Shinsui Hiroba)
• Mojiko Retro Shinsui Hiroba, Chuo Hiroba, Koso Hachimangu Shrine, Dalian Friendship Memorial, Harbor deck, Sakae-machi Gintengai, Premier Hotel Mojiko etc.
• Karato Area (Shimonoseki City Hall Civic Plaza, Former Shimonoseki British Consulate, Tanaka Kinuyo Bunka-kan, Kameyama Hachimangu Shrine, Shimonoseki Nanbu-cho Post • Office *Simonoseki Nanbu-cho Post Office is open only on 18th.)
• Shimonoseki Station Area Eximachi Plaza (Nihon Ceremony Walk, in front of Daimaru Shimonoseki Store and Sea Mall, Shimonoseki Civic Activity Center)
Mojiko Retro: Illumination 2023
Discover the Champagne Radiance of Mojiko Retro District: The Mojiko Retro precinct is transformed into an enchanting nightscape with around 300,000 shimmering lights draping the trees, bathing the cobblestone streets in a delicate champagne gold aura. The lights lend the area an added layer of nostalgia and romance. With free entry and countless picturesque spots, this luminous haven invites you to capture timeless memories. It’s an idyllic backdrop for a spellbinding night out, steeped in romance and old-world charm.
• 10/1 (Sun.) ~ 3/17 (Sun.)
• 17:30 ~ approx 24:00 (on Dec. 31, the lights will be turned on until 5:00. on the next day)
• Mojiko Retro area
• Higashiminato-machi, Moji-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka
Huis Ten Bosch: Hikari no Machi Christmas
Behold “The Kingdom of Light,” a dazzling urban spectacle boasting the world’s grandest display of 13 million lights, rivaling the enchantment of a European Christmas village. It’s a magnet for visitors from across the globe, looking to immerse themselves in the festive radiance. Starting December 1st, the park’s canal is magically transformed into an ice rink, offering the joy of skating through a picturesque European setting. And for an extra touch of holiday magic, on December 16th, and from December 23rd to 25th at 20:30, the sky will come alive with a 15-minute fireworks show, choreographed to the melodies of Christmas songs.
Originally written Nov. 2016, updated November 2023.
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. 2016.