More than illumination - Sendai's Pageant of Starlight!

Sendai is not just the prefectural capital of Miyagi and the "city of trees" - it is also home to one of Japan's biggest winter illumination spectacles! 
What started as a small event created by citizen volunteers, has quickly developed into a special must-see winter event, that is well known all over Japan.

Now every year, the Zelkova trees lining Aoba Dori and Jouzenji Dori are being illuminated with no less than 600 000 Christmas lights, turning downtown Sendai into a sea of lights! You will also find multiple gorgeous light display in the adjacent Kotodai Park, which are more than instagram-worthy! 

The illuminated trees create a "tunnel of light" that engulfs you with a warm light, turning the cold winter night into a starlit cocoon. You might be surprised to hear that the lights are in fact specially designed LED lights, to allow for a much warmer and comfortable atmosphere than regular LED bulbs, which can often appear rather cool.

Be sure to also catch the so-called "star winks", moments when all the light bulbs turn off for a moment to then all turn on again simultaneously, giving you the impression that this sea of sparkling lights is giving you a wink! These "winks" are scheduled three times per day, usually at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm.

But it's not just all lights and sparkles! There is a small ice skating rink in Kotodai Park, as well as some heated tents where you can warm up with some food and drinks, making it the perfect winter attraction!

When does it start:

The illumination starts at 5:30pm and ends at 11pm, so make sure you wear warm clothes so you can enjoy this spectacle in all its glory!
This year, the lights will start to douse the city of Sendai in magical light on the 8th of December until New Year's Eve, when the lights will stay turned on until midnight to greet the New Year.

How to get there:

From JR Sendai Station, take the Namboku Subway Line towards Izumi-cho and get off two stops later at Kotodaikoen Station. Then follow the exit signs for Jozenjidori.

If you are making your way from Tokyo, take the Akita Shinkansen and get off at JR Sendai Station, from where you should take the above mentioned Namboku Subway Line.
Check out the official website here

Make sure you don't miss Sendai's Pageant of Starlight with its magical luminous corridors and winking lights!

Happy adventuring!

Nami Komorebispirit