This post was originally published on December 31, 2010. We’re pulling it out of the archives for those of you who are looking for a fun evening activity that can help you keep the holiday spirit going for a little while longer. This display will be available until February 14th.
CONTRIBUTED BY MEGAN HOOSER
I love the Christmas season. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I dive right in. Being here on Okinawa, it can be a little harder to get into the season. After growing up in New England, it’s hard to remember Christmas is coming when my thermometer still reads 70 degrees outside. The one thing that always helps here is the Christmas lights. Okinawans seem to love the tradition of Christmas lights. From the random houses light up, to American Village and the Botanical Gardens, Christmas lights are plentiful. But I bet you haven’t even seen the best Christmas light display on island!
Hidden up North is the Kanucha Resort’s Stardust Fantasia. The resort boasts a display of over 1,000,000 lights every season. All of the lights are LED, making this a great environmentally friendly display as well. It is a gorgeous display of light-covered palm trees, buildings and pools. The majority of the lights are on the paths of the hotel, which can be viewed from a trolley ride around the resort or by walking. The trolley makes several stops, allowing you to get off and explore the various displays of lights.
This was a great way to get in the holiday spirit. My husband and I enjoyed it as a date night, but we saw several families with young children there. Be sure to dress warmly though, it was cold wandering around at night. And don’t forget your camera!
Cost: The ticket we bought and the online ads said 1000 yen per car. But we paid 1200 yen per car. (My thought was maybe it was the weekend cost?) So plan between 1000-1200 yen. But carpool is the trick here!
Hours: Lights are turned on each night with a ceremony at 5:55 pm. I did not see any closing hours, as I assume the lights are on all night long. They were still selling tickets when we left at 10:30 pm.
Dates: The lights run annually from November 1st to February 14th. So don’t worry if you can’t make it during the holidays, there is plenty time each season to enjoy the festivities.
Directions: From Kadena area: Follow 58 North. Turn right on to 329. Continue for 5 km, then turn left onto 331. Just keep going down this road, the road is long and windy. The Resort is located on the right about 10 km ahead. You cannot miss the resort, there are lighted palm trees along 331.
Alternate directions from Camp Hansen/Schwab, or using expressway: Take exit 8 off of the expressway and turn left to get on 329. Follow 329 North. Turn right onto 331. Just keep going down this road, the road is long and windy. The Resort is located on the right about 10 km ahead. You cannot miss the resort, there are lighted palm trees along 331.
For a map and more information visit the resort’s website.