Most light displays are just a Christmas season thing, but this feels so unfair. What about the dark months of January and February? Let’s try to keep them bright too!

Therefore although a lot of the lights have already been packed up and now it’s a matter of enjoying whatever flowers will carry us over to spring, I have saved the photos for now, as there’s no sense in not being able to enjoy them in January (sorry February, you’ll just have to stay cheerful with the Dan Dan Warm Food Festival).

First, we have my favorite garden in the area, Yuushien Japanese Garden. Although my very favorite time to go there is during the peony festival, this was first time going to the nighttime maple leaf display in November. I was only anticipating the leaves; little did I expect the expansive display of lights complete with its own little Mt. Fuji. Although they do some kind of light display every year around this time, the “Golden Island Zipangu” display ran in two version: the autumn leaf version (November 14 ~ December 5) and the Christmas version (December 19 ~ 26).

It’s hard to get a crisp photo when the leaves are shaking in the wind.

Next, we have the Matsue Vogel Park, where you can go any time of year to get your fix of fuchsia and begonias, as the main greenhouse remains a paradise all the time. If you’re like me and you like birds, then the rest of the park is a paradise too. Really, adding Santa costumes to the penguins and light displays and handbell concerts is totally unnecessary embellishment, but they do this every year. This past year it was every weekend in December leading up to Christmas, as well as December 23-25.

No matter what time of year, the Vogel Park is a popular spot for En-musubi photo ops.

Although there were plenty of other light displays going on throughout the region, the last one I went to was Tottori Hanakairo (aka Tottori Prefectural Flower Park), which is really the place to go anytime you wind to run away to fantasy world of flowers. And you know the really nice thing about this one? It’s still going! This year’s event is from November 20 all the way through January 31st. (Sorry, February.)

A small fireworks display… well, nothing compared to the summer displays around the region, but still nice.

Inside the warm central dome, pear flavored ice cream is appealing any time of year.

A Christmas tree made of…


…and orchids!

All three gardens/parks off discounts on admission for visitors with foreign passports or resident cards!