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Okinawa lit up like a Christmas tree

On a subtropical island like Okinawa you can tell when winter is near by the twinkling of Christmas lights. From popular sightseeing spots and resort hotels to the average home, Okinawa is truly transformed into an “island of illumination” during winter.
At the Okinawa Zoo Children’s Land in Okinawa City, Christmas Fantasy, an annual, one-of-a-kind Christmas event is held during the week before and after Christmas. At the venue, snow blowers produce snow, and you can make snowmen and snow angels, go sledding or even enjoy a snowball fight. They also host a unique laser show. At the Itoman Wine Farm in Itoman City, where the Peace Illumination Festival is held every year, the 1.3 million lights represent the approximate number of Okinawans and carry the people’s hopes for peace. Including Itoman City, the south part of the island, which experienced ground battles at the end of World War II, is dotted with peace monuments such as the Himeyuri Monument and Peace Memorial Park. The Peace Illumination Festival, held in an area that experienced fierce fighting, is designed to pray for world peace. Illuminations can even be enjoyed at resort hotels. Lobbies and terraces are decorated with colorful lights usually one week before Christmas, and various events are organized at each hotel.
And if you’re up for a more unusual illumination experience and like night drives down country roads, be sure to check out the Yomitan and Gushikawa chrysanthemum fields. From November until the beginning of spring, chrysanthemums are shipped from Okinawa throughout Japan. As the number of daylight hours decreases, however, chrysanthemums bloom faster and need to be regulated by a fleet of light bulbs, turning the chrysanthemum fields into fields of radiance. And while it’s not exactly “Christmassy,” it’s well worth checking out. Details of lighting show schedules for 2012 will be posted soon!

 

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At the Renaissance Resort Okinawa, a beachside resort located on the west coast of the island, the main gate and the beachside area are wrapped in fantastic illuminations from November to late February. You can enjoy the beautiful reflections of 13 dolphin-shaped lights in the swimming pool, while listening to the pleasant sound of waves. The beachside terrace features a romantic walk lined with some 80,000 lights.

>>  Ryukyu Renaissance Christmas 2012

 

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Dotted with nine hotel buildings and villas, the huge 653-acre premises of Kanucha Resort are all lit up at night from November through mid-February, creating romantic views. You can also experience the lighting up ceremony. The ceremony is designed for anniversaries and celebrations, and only one couple can have this opportunity each day.

>> Kanucha Stardust Fantasia ‘Eco-Sustainable Style’ 

 

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Christmas Fantasy

>> Christmas Fantasy ’12

 

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Peace Illumination Festival

>> 14th Itoman Peaceful Illumination Festival ‘Lights of Peace’

 

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Mihama American Village Illumination

>> Mihama American Village Illumination

 


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