Nabana No Sato. Nagashima-cho, Kuwana City - Japan
Nabana no Sato is a theme park dedicated to flowers. Located on the island of Nagashima in Kuwana City, the park is famous for its seasonal flower shows.
A new addition in recent times has been the Kawazu Sakura light tunnel. Just as spectacular as the light tunnel but not quite as large or long. It is around 100 meters long with 700,000 pink LED lights. The tunnel is popular with couples and is designed to resemble the Kawazu cherry tree, which is an early blooming variety of cherry tree. It certainly attracts the eye with its pink colour and is a hint of the warmth of spring.
Last time I saw him, he had his car drop me off in an alley, dimly lit by the LED strip in the road. As it sped away, I saw him standing by the wall, face hidden by his coat’s cowl. His glasses glinted in the pale light.
“You’re sure you weren’t followed?” he asked.
“I did just like you told me,” I said.
He nodded, then pointed to a door in the wall. The indicator on the lock went green. “Welcome to wonderland,” he said. Light bloomed into the alleyway as he opened it.
I stepped into another world.
It was like walking through the metropolis of the fireflies. We strolled down tunnels of lights, walked through globes of lights, whole landscapes of lights pulsing in gentle colors. Every tree and rock glowed.
He laughed at me, because I was walking around with my mouth open like a child.
“What is this place?” I asked.
“Nabana No Sato park,” he said. “Every winter they suspend ten million LEDs here.”
“Where is everyone?” I asked him. “Is it always this deserted?”
He laughed again. “Haven’t you heard? There’s been a bomb threat,” he said. “It’s all over the news.” He took me by the shoulders.
He leant in and kissed me, lips unexpectedly hot in the winter air. All the lights in the tunnel strobed red and pulsed away from us.
By the time the police arrived, he’d vanished again. I was sitting on a bench, smiling in the cold.
If you happen to be in Japan from now to March 31, 2013, make sure to check out one of Japan’s most stunning displays of light called Winter Illuminations at Nabana no Sato, a botanical garden turned light theme park on the island of Nagashima in Kuwana. Opened just yesterday, it’s been called one of the best winter light shows in all of Japan. The park really outdoes itself by using millions of sparkling LED lights all over the vast grounds including on the water and in the gardens. This year’s theme is “nature” and it promises gorgeous scenes including a beautiful sunrise inspired by Mt. Fuji at dawn, a rainbow across the sky, and even an aurora.
The stars of the show are the famous walk-through tunnels of light that completely envelop the viewer, making it seem as if they’re walking through bright, magical portals. As Joanna Tocher of Wide Island View said, “if you can shut out the noise of the hundreds of people around you it really does feel like you’re stepping into another world.”