Osaka’s Top 5 Places for Winter 2016
Osaka’s Winter Lights & Sights
While Osaka might not be the first place that comes to your mind when you think of spending the holiday season in Japan, don’t brush it aside. Osaka might lack snow, but it has plenty of lights and spirit. It was just a day after Halloween that I saw the first of many massive Christmas trees spring up. Two weeks later and it seemed as if the every corner of the city was covered in a smorgasbord of random holiday decor. Even the most holiday-averse of us, has got to admit that Osaka has some pretty spectacular (if not, a little bit odd) winter sights. So without further adieu and in no particular order, here are our top picks for Osaka winter 2016.
• German Christmas Market 2016
The annual Christmas Market is back again this year at Umeda’s Sky Building. The fun starts after dark when the giant central tree is lit and visitors can partake in authentic German food and drink. This is also the ideal spot to pick up some unique hand-made ornaments and other holiday trinkets.
Umeda Sky Building
10 min walk from JR Osaka St.
12 min walk from Hankyu Umeda St.
November 18th – December 25th, 2016
Christmas Market 12pm – 9pm on Weekdays (10pm on Friday nights)
Lights 5pm- 10:30pm
• Midosuji Illumination 2016
This year the Midosuji Illumination, which stretches from Namba to Osaka Station, is bigger than ever. Three kilometers of twinkling lights will surely get even the Grinch-iest amongst us geared up for the the holiday season. So wrap up tight, grab a hot drink and take a stroll through the city with friends or a loved one.
You can enjoy the lights from almost anywhere if you’re in the Kita-ku (Osaka Station) or Namba area.
November 20th, 2016 – January 9th, 2017
5pm – 11pm
• Osaka Hikari-no Renaissance 2016
The Nakanoshima area will also be specially lit for the season. Be sure to check out the project mapping on Osaka Town Hall that was put together by the collaborative design efforts of Osaka University of Arts students. For those wishing to join in the decorating, Nakanoshima Smile Art Project Hikari no Mi, will allow attendees to make their own lit decoration to adorn the area’s trees.
2 min walk from Keihan Nakanoshima Station
December 14th – December 25th
5pm – 10pm
• Universal Studios Japan – Universal Wonder Christmas 2016
With limited-time holiday decorations, a popular time of year at the USJ parks during Christmas time. For our review of USJ, check out our previous post here.
JR Universal City Station
November 11th, 2016 – January 9th 2017
• Illumi-Night Banpaku Xmas – Banpaku Winter Special 2016
For some amazing project mapping head to Illumi Night Banpaku Xmas to watch the famous Tower of the Sun be turned into a 3D illuminated canvas. Sounds effects will accompany the projections making for a totally unique holiday experience. Dress warm so that you can walk around the rest of the park and see the other LED creations.
Osaka Monorail – Banpaku Kinen Koen Station
December 9th- 11th, 16th – 18th, 23rd & 25th 2016 is the Xmas Special
December 30th, 2016 – January 2nd, 6th – 9th is the Winter Special
4pm – 9pm
¥250 Adult admission fee
¥70 Children admission fee
Hope everyone enjoys their trip to Osaka this winter!
If you found this post helpful or have any feedback we would love to hear from you! Please let us know your plans for the holiday season in Osaka!