Illuminations (イルミネーション) are light displays that pop up all over Japan during the winter/holiday season. Nabana Village (なばなの里) is a large garden and hot spring (温泉) that has a very famous light display in the winter. There has been this commercial on TV promoting a light display in Mie Prefecture, and my host mom surprised me one day by saying that she had bought tickets for us to go and see it. When we had gotten there, we took advantage of the hot spring that was for feet only (足湯). Because it was pretty cold, the hot water was really nice definitely worth the dip.
After dinner and the sun set, we took in all of the light displays. My pictures did not come out very good, because of how dark it was, so they give the lights no justice at all. There were two pathways that were lined with bright, flower shaped lights. It was like walking through a brightly lit portal to somewhere new. There was also a very large display that featured a giant waterfall made completely of lights. It was all kind of amazing to see. Light displays in the United States are typically strictly for Christmas, so it was very nice to see a different kind of display that really emphasized the beauty of なばなの里 after dark, as well as be a reflection of winter in Japan.
Besides this particular illumination, there were a ton within Nagoya as well. There were quite a few within the Nagoya and Sakae areas, as well as a Disney princess display at Centrair Chubu International Airport. I was not able to see any of these, except for a brief glance at the one in the airport when I was going to leave for home in December. If they were anything like this one, I am sure they were amazing. I do not have much more to write about the illuminations, so I hope my pictures can give you an idea of awesome they were.
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<p>Hi, my name is Ashley Bell and I am a Junior Political Science major at Santa Clara University. I'll be spending my spring semester in Nagoya, Japan and am very excited to share my experiences with you. I hope you enjoy seeing Japan through my eyes!</p>