Christmas Lights Display at the Southeast Botanical Gardens

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Southeast Botanical Gardens closed in 2010, and reopened in 2013.  This post about its Christmas Lights Display is from December 2009; if you have attended this event since the Gardens’ reopening please consider submitting us a new post about it. Thanks!


Photo from clipart
A perfect evening excursion for just about everyone (families with children, young singles, couples), the Christmas lights display will run from Dec 23- Dec 27 at the Southeast Botanical Gardens.
At this annual event, thousands of lights illuminate the gardens, greenery, flowers, and tropical trees. A gorgeous sight to be sure!
In addition, the Botanical Gardens is also hosting a special nighttime market, where you can enjoy food booths selling local savories like yakitori, fries, and yakisoba as well as a restaurant and dinner buffet. If you need to do any very very very last minute or even post Christmas shopping, there will also be booths selling handicrafts and household goods.
Time: Dec 23- Dec 27 5:00- 10:00 pm with last admission at 9:00 pm
Admission: Adults and children 12 and older is 1,500 yen each at the door. Children under 12 are free. Food is an additional cost. You can also book a tour to visit the lights show and dinner buffet through Foster or Kadena’s ITT travel agencies.
Directions: Go out of Gate 3 of Kadena and stay on the road past Camp Shields. Follow it all the way around Camp Shields, until you can turn left on the intersection just before 329. Turn left and follow the signs for the Southeast Botanical Gardens.
If you can’t make it to this lights show, there is an array of other Holiday Illuminations going on around the island. Click on this link for a list of all the others!

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  • December 24, 2009

    I attended last night and the hand-made crafts are totally adorable! It was like a fun little market and it was great – definitely bring yen to get yourself some little somethings! It was great. And frankly, we loved the buffet but at about $40 per adult, we could’ve eaten well at the market too (plenty of food vendors) – so keep that in mind. Happy holidays!

  • December 8, 2010

    Can anyone tell me whether the Christmas Lights Display at the Southeast Botanical Gardens is running this year? Thanks!


  • December 8, 2010

    According to Okinawa Living magazine, it is! It says that the holiday lights display runs in late December and to stay tuned to The Source for specific dates and times. I know there is a “The Source” insert in the weekly distributed Okinawa Marine so maybe pick one of those up each week and check. Or maybe “The Source” is a TV show?? I don’t get AFN so not sure about that.

  • December 23, 2010

    Hopefully you’ve already found out this – but the Botanical Gardens Christmas lights show is running through the 26th, it’s from 5-10pm, last entrance at 9pm, 500 yen for everyone over 12 (I think, that’s the age) and the rest of the kids are free. It’s very worth going!! It was wonderful – the kids can run around on the lights and touch them – my 18 month old daughter had a wonderful time! I hope you can go!

  • December 24, 2010

    I was thoroughly unimpressed with SEBG last year (2009). I enjoyed peace prayer park in Itoman in 2008. I will be going to the Zoo this year to round out our three years here. =)

  • December 26, 2010

    Southeast Botanical Gardens closing its gates in December
    Date Posted: 2010-10-28

    Tourism industry leaders and travel agencies are scrambling to fill a hole on sightseeing schedules when the Southeast Botanical Gardens closes down the end of December.

    The botanical gardens, which has been trying to sell its business to Jomon Industrial Company, has been unable to negotiate a deal with Jomon, and now has given up the effort, at least for the moment. “This place was so great,” says one travel promoter. “All the tourists came here to see and learn about Okinawa. The spot has been so popular.”