Nagasaki Lantern Festival
Every year, the city of Nagasaki celebrates the Chinese New Year with a spectacular array of bright and colourful lanterns. The Lantern Festival began this year on February 7 and continues until the 21st.
Nagasaki, which for a couple of hundred years of the Tokugawa shogunate was one of the few entry points for trade in an otherwise ‘closed’ Japan (under the sakoku laws), shows its foreign influences all over, no more so than in its sizeable Chinatown, and the crowds throng around here, Chuo-Koen and Minato-Koen, where the main displays are.
And when I say crowds, I mean it. To get anywhere and see anything, you have to throw yourself right in there – Ganbaro!
With parades, dances and other performing arts displays, there’s plenty to see and do during the daylight hours, but of course the festival really comes into its own after nightfall. The most elaborate displays are at Chuo-Koen –
– but the side streets are alive with colour too.
As are the stone bridges along the river, the most popular one of which is the famed Meganebashi (‘Spectacles’ bridge – named for the shape of its reflection) –
More Lantern Festival pix after the jump…!
Full Nagasaki trip photo-set at Flickr.