Holiday illuminations in Okinawa
Just because you’re on a subtropical island doesn’t mean you can’t get into the holiday spirit. Okinawa is awash with “Christmas illuminations” – dazzling light displays designed to ring in the holidays with cheer. To get in on this local pastime, check out one of the following illuminations.
ITOMAN PEACEFUL ILLUMINATION: Dec. 16-Jan. 3, 6-10 p.m., 300,000 LED lights designed by students of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, featuring the theme of "Three Wishes brought by a Fairy,” a prayer for peace for Okinawa’s 1.3 million people, at Itoman Kanko Noen. There will be concerts and live performances on Dec. 25 at 7-9 p.m., fireworks on Dec. 25 at 9 p.m., and fireworks and a year-end countdown on Dec. 31; 200 yen for adults (includes a crystal glass), free for children; Heiwa-no Hikari Committee; 098-840-8135.
CHRISTMAS FANTASY 2012: Dec. 21-28, 6-9:30 p.m.; events include laser beams and fireworks along with concerts, dance performances and attractions; Okinawa Children’s Kingdom; 15-minute drive from Okinawa Minami I.C., 50-minute drive from Naha Airport; 2,000 yen for adults, 1,200 yen for children; 098-933-4190; http://xmas-fantasy.com/top_e.htm.
2012 KANUCHA RESORT STARDUST FANTASY: Through Feb. 14 (6-11 p.m. in Dec. and 7-11 p.m. in Jan. and Feb.); 1,000,000 LED lights decorated with the theme of “The Time for the Paradise” will bring you into a fantasy world; 1,500 yen/advance ticket; nine-minute ride from Naha Airport; 098-869-5566.
RENAISSANCE OKINAWA RESORT BEACH ILLUMINATION: Ends Feb 28, sunset – midnight; 80,000 LED lights, featuring the theme “Dolphin and Ocean,”decorate the beach area for visitors to enjoy. Local residents as well as hotel guests can enjoy the fantastic illumination.
HOTEL NIKKO ALIVILA’S GARDEN ILLUMINATION: Through March 31, sunset to midnight; walk along the patio or the pool and enjoy the illumination of 80,000 LEDs for free. 098-982-9111.
2012 MARRIOTT CHRISTMAS: Through Dec. 25, 5 p.m.-midnight. Enjoy the illuminated entrance and a 10-meter Christmas tree in the lobby. Okinawa Marriott Resort & Spa 098-51-1000
WINTER ELEGANCE 2012: Through Feb. 14, 5-8:30 p.m. at Okinawa Outlet Mall ASHIBINAA. Watch the snow glitter in the lights. Snow-fall at 5, 6, 7 and 8 p.m. 098-891-6000.
UENO GERMAN CULTURE VILLAGE ILLUMINATION 2012: Dec. 23-31, 6-9:30 p.m. (Dec. 23-25, 6-10 p.m., Dec. 31, 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m.). There will be a countdown concert on new year’s eve. Enjoy the beautiful marchen light in German world. 098-76-3771.
ISHIGAKIJIMA LIMESTONE CAVE ILLUMINATION: All-year-round. 9 a.m.-6:30 pm. Adults (over 17 years-old/1,050 yen; under 15 years-old/525 yen. 0980-83-1550
Photo courtesy of Okinawa Tourist Information Website