Photo: Okinawa City
Oct 28th
May 28th
Photo: Okinawa City

Okinawa Tropical Illuminations

Stunning lights at this award-winning event

Venue: Southeast Botanical Gardens, Okinawa When: Oct 28th - May 28th 2023

For the past 9 years, an annual illumination competition has ranked the best light displays across Japan. For 2021, the Okinawa Tropical Illuminations at Southeast Botanical Garden came in third place (up from 7th place the year prior), giving some indication as to the quality of the event.

This year's iteration of the event includes a fun Pokémon-themed illumination area, and lotus-shaped lights designed to replicate the real thing that visitors can see at the gardens during summer.

Pokemon characters join the illumination event this year
Pokemon characters join the illumination event this year (Photo: Okinawa City)

Other highlights include a tropical-inspired Christmas tree decorated with butterflies and flowers, the marine-themed Hikari no Umi (sea of light) section, and the Castle of Light which looks fit for royalty.

Getting there

The Southeast Botanical Gardens are located a short drive from the Okinawa Kita IC on the Okinawa Expressway. On-site parking is available for up to 350 vehicles.

For those visiting the area via public transport, take bus # 90 from the Naha Bus Terminal until you reach the Okinawashi Nomin Kenshu center-mae stop. The gardens are located on the other side of the expressway from the bus stop, about a five minute cab ride away.

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Sleiman Azizi 8 months ago
I have to admit that I've never associated illuminations with Okinawa. But there you go. Looks good.
Kim Author 8 months ago
Yes, I think a lot of the time illuminations evoke that wintery feel! Nice to see Okinawa also gets in on the fun, though!
Elizabeth S a year ago
Lots of people I talk to think I'm nuts to go to Okinawa for my winter holiday but it's an awesome getaway from frigid parts of Japan. And this light-up looks like more winter fun!
Kim Author a year ago
I completely agree! One of my visits to Okinawa was in February, and although it was too cold for swimming it was much more pleasant temperature-wise than other parts of the country!
Justin Velgus a year ago
Pokemon illumination?! This looks fun for all ages.
Kim Author a year ago
Yes! I love seeing some fun new spins on these illumination events.