Tokyo Diaries: Winter Illumination 2014-2015|Umihotaru|Tokyo Bay Aqua Line

Winter Illumination_Caption
Hi everyone! Hope the last of winter is passing by quietly with you guys, without bothering you much. Sometime back, me and hubs along with few friends got to visit a country farm in Chiba (~1 hr drive by car) to spend a day there experiencing lovely Winter Illumination also checking out Umihotaru and Tokyo-Bay Aqua Line.

Winter Illumination is a very festive event in Japan that happens every year at different locations, which are huge farms, catering to thousands of people with gorgeous views of lights in the form of creatures and other stuff showcasing a particular theme. This event takes place along with various food stalls, activity areas, live shows by performers, etc. People enjoy these fancy events so much and every time there is a huge gathering, with people from all age groups and a majority of couples and families with kids. This was my first time, as last year I was in India and hubs did it alone, and I was completely thrilled.

Our day trip included:

  1. Tokyo Bay Aqua Line (not a spot but a bridge-tunnel combination above and under the bay)
  2. Umihotaru
  3. Country Farm Tokyo German Village

We rented a car (car rentals are super convenient in Japan) and started our day fairly early ~9 am as it was about an hour drive. We first headed for the Tokyo Bay Aqua-line, which is a bridge-tunnel combination built across the Tokyo Bay connecting the cities of Kisarazu and Kawasaki of Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, respectively. It's total length is 14 km with 4.4 km of bridge over the sea and 9.6 km tunnel under the sea making it the fourth longest underwater tunnel in the world, can you believe? :O While in the tunnel it felt so incredible that this tunnel is surrounded by water and it's so long, so much of hard work and brains I must say.

Umihotaru_Drill Cutter head

This is cutter head of the drill used for excavation of the tunnel, now kept as a monument for visitors at Umihotaru.

Kaze No To

In the middle of the tunnel is this dome-shaped structure, Kaze no To (literally, 'Tower of wind'), used for ventilation to the tunnel. It runs on the bay's almost-constant winds. The tunnel is from the point where I stood and clicked this picture till this Kaze no To and beyond, crazy, isn't it? It took 31 years to complete this tunnel.

Next, we headed to Umihotaru (literally meaning sea-firefly) is a man-made island at the joining point of the bridge and the tunnel. It is basically a multi-storied parking lot with shops and eating joints and some gorgeous panoramic views of the Tokyo skyline from it's observation deck. On a clear day, you can see the iconic Mt. Fuji and Tokyo Skytree in the skyline of the city. It is made in the form of a cruise to give you the actual experience of being on a cruise in the middle of the sea, only thing it's an immobile cruise!

Tokyo Skyline from Umihotaro

The view of Tokyo skyline from the observation desk of Umihotaru.

Tokyo Skytree from Umihotaru

Tokyo Skytree is also visible from the observation desk of Umihotaru.

After taking a short break and grabbing our coffees, we headed for the Country Farm Tokyo German village around noon to experience the winter illumination and do some activities there while we still have time left before the illuminations begin. The German Village meant to give you a mini experience of German rural life, not sure how close to reality it is as I have never been to Germany. :p We also played some naive golf there, they have putter golf, and then headed to check out the food stalls and the performers' area. If you are going with a kid, this place is paradise for you and your kid as they have plenty of things like Ferris wheel, children's zoo, roller coaster, etc.

Tokyo German Village_Putter Golf

Putter golf at the Country Farm Tokyo German Village

Tokyo German Village_Day Trip_Amusement Activities

Kid in me blowing bubbles! πŸ˜€

Around the sunset, all the beautiful little sparkly, glittery, lights lit up and that was the most beautiful thing I saw. They had a theme of rural life in which the illumination was done.

Illuminations in the theme of a German village with train, railway track, tunnel, trees, clouds, sun, bridge, etc.

Tokyo German Village_Winter Illumination_3Isn't it gorgeous? Felt like walking on the stars.

Tokyo German Village_Winter Illumination_4

IMG_5996

We absolutely loved the day, it was so amazing and mesmerising to be there and experience all the positivity and celebrations. Have you been to any Winter Illuminations?

I really hope you enjoyed reading this post and enjoyed the pictures! Share your views in the comment sections, I'd love reading your notes.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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  • PS

    This is INSANE! Awesome pictures πŸ™‚

    • Isn’t it? I didn’t feel like coming back home… πŸ˜€

  • great pictures!