Japan takes Christmas very seriously. The Halloween Pumpkins are barely packed away before the Christmas lights come out. Shopping malls are festooned with trees and fairy lights, and the occasional Santa Clause. For a country that doesn’t recognise the 25th of December as a national holiday, it can be a little confusing. Until you appreciate it’s all in the quest for consumer Yen.
Sometimes the lights are elevated from decoration to art form. The Hyogo Prefectural Flower Center is one such example.
Regular readers will know I enjoy visiting this park every now and then to enjoy the transition of the seasons. This time it was to see the annual “light show”.
It didn’t disappoint.
To some it might look a little cheesy. Bright lights, Santa Clause, Japanese mascots. It does look like an explosion of light bulbs and chintzy decorations. They even drafted in the greenhouses, turning tropical plants into flower displays.
But it’s also fun.
Kids wandering around cooing at Santa. Adults desperate to capture the perfect shot. Couples holding hands and enjoying the moment. Even I was caught up in the moment, merrily snapping away, and my wife telling me I should have brought my tripod.
At the end of the day, isn’t having an hour of two of fun what these light shows are about?