It’s that time of the year, and the Christmas Lights are out in force all over Nagano. There are many places to go and admire the colorful nighttime displays, but this evening, my family chose the Suzaka Art Park’s 2009 Christmas Illumination.
We bundled the kids up tightly — it was COLD! — and walked around the grounds of the two museums that make up the Suzaka Art Park. The various displays there were created or assembled by groups ranging from local schools to senior groups, and involved everything from reindeer and sleighs to a giant mask warning about the flu. Yeah, there is no escaping the fear of the flu, even here!
The biggest display is a huge pole outside the Doll Museum with colorful lights cascading down all around it. The effect is that of a giant Christmas Tree, with a large star at the top (more like a ball, but you get the idea). Visitors can walk inside this “tree” and look up at the top from within. It’s a spectacular sight!
The display is going on until December 25th, every night from 5pm to 9pm. Admission is free for everyone, but you will see volunteers asking for donations — not to pay the event’s electric bill, but rather to buy more lights for future displays!
To get there, take the Nagano Expressway to Suzaka-Nagano-Higashi interchange. Turn right at the first light, and then right again at the Kotakamachi signal. Drive uphill and turn left at the Lawson convenience store. Go a little ways down that road and you will see the lights on the right side. Parking is free.