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In Japan's Nikko and Kinugawa-onsen areas, two hours north of Tokyo along the Tobu Railway Nikko and Kinugawa lines, special moon-viewing festivities with light-ups are being held from September through November.
There is a Japanese expression, "aki no yonaga," which means "long autumn night." This year, despite the pandemic, two popular celebratory light-up events held annually are illuminating the autumn evenings in the Nikko-Kinugawa region, along Tobu Railway's Nikko and Kinugawa lines.
The Tsukiakari Hanakairo "Moonlight Flower Gallery," September 25 – November 30, 6-9 pm daily at Kinugawa Onsen
This illumination event, originated within this community, is praised as one of Japan's best moon-viewing experiences by Japan's 100 Best Moon Viewing Places Project. Held under the title Machinaka Tsukiakari ("Moonlight in the Town"), this year's event will, however, be smaller in scale than in previous years due to pandemic restrictions.
In addition to viewing the actual moon in the night sky, the event includes dreamlike illuminations of washi umbrellas (top), lanterns using children's art (above), and a moonlit fountain decorated with floral arrangements, lucky owls, and more.
In addition to the light-up, a food event, Machinaka Shiawase Gourmet, meaning "Happy in Town Gourmet Event," will be held from October 1 – November 30, 2021, at select Kinugawa restaurants. This video shows the 2020 event (in Japanese).
*The schedule and content of the event are subject to change due to COVID-19 protocols. See the website for more details.
Nikko has attracted both pilgrims and tourists for generations. This is another magical event for enjoying aki no yonaga. In addition to illuminations of torii gates, temple buildings, art and grounds, usually there will be Free guided tours, concerts, and a food court. Photos of the 2019 event are displayed on its home page (in Japanese), and this this video (also in Japanese) shows the 2018 event.
*The schedule and content of the event are subject to change due to a Covid-19 protocols.
Make your visit more convenient and fun with Tobu Railway's Nikko All-Area Pass
This pass includes unlimited rides on trains and buses in the Nikko-Kinugawa region as well as discounts on Limited Express fares and compartment-room fares between Tokyo and Nikko. There are also discounts for theme parks, souvenir shopping, restaurants, and more.*
*Event schedules and contents may be changed or cancelled without notice.
About Tobu Railways
TOBU Railway Co., Ltd. is a major Japanese corporation consisting of approximately 90 companies. The Tobu Railway covers the longest operating distance in Metropolitan Tokyo, leading to numerous tourist attractions including: Asakusa and TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN in Tokyo; Nikko and Kinugawa-Onsen, famous for its world heritage sites and hot springs; the Tatebayashi and Ashikaga areas, known for their blooming flower fields; and Kawagoe and Tochigi City, where the atmosphere of the old Edo era lives on. Tobu is also invested in a portfolio of hotels, including the newly opened The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko and FUFU Nikko Onsen Resort.