Information for the 2023 Fresa Yoshimi Illumination. In 2020 the event didn’t go ahead due to the pandemic, but in 2021 it went ahead exactly because of the Coronavirus! As their website says, “we thought that it was necessary to have the light up event, in order to brighten the town and lighten the hearts of everyone ….” during this difficult period. The illumination has been back on annually in December ever since…
Fresa Yoshimi Illumination
The illumination in Fresa Yoshimi is a particularly child friendly winter lights display. Furthermore, it is lovingly made by locals, by recycling common household goods. Moreover, this illumination is one of Saitama’s oldest – it started in 2003. It used to be on annually from December 1st to 25th, before the pandemic. But since the pandemic, it doesn’t start until December 3rd. Likewise, the official hours used to be 5 to 9 pm, but this year (like the last two years) it will end at 8 pm. On the first night only, December 3rd, the lights don’t get switched on until 6 pm, after a small switch on ceremony.
In addition to the illumination, they have a few Christmas concerts during the period of the illumination. For example, on December 17th there will be a Christmas concert from 4 pm with an entrance fee of just 500 yen. Moreover, on both the 16th and 23rd there will be free lobby concerts (lobby of Fresa) in the evening – from 5.30 pm to 6 pm and again from 6.30 pm to 7 pm.
Fresa Yoshimi is the town’s community hall. It has an observation tower, a theatre, a cafe and a large hall. It often hosts music events. Fresa is beside the town’s library, the summer outdoor pool and one of the town’s parks; the Yoshimi town friendship athletic ground.The park has two small playgrounds.
Illumination for kids
What makes this display particularly child friendly, and different to most other displays, is that it is made up of several mini displays that also serve as photo props. Moreover, they normally have displays with characters children know such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Anpanman. Last year they had a Pikachu display too. Furthermore, the displays are made out of recycled goods such as pet bottles.
The above Santa photo prop was sponsored by Natural Cafe Sora, an “Oyako” cafe in Yoshimi town. Oyako means parent and child and an oyako cafe or restaurant is a child friendly restaurant. Natural Cafe Sora is the most child friendly restaurant (that isn’t a play center restaurant) I personally know of. It has a swing, slide, bikes and push along rides for children to use outside and inside it has lots of toys for kids to play with. Furthermore, they have a lovely and healthy child’s menu. You can read more about Natural Cafe Sora in this article:
|Fresa Yoshimi Illumination 2023
|Dates: December 3th to 24th, however the displays are off on Monday nights.
Time: 5 to 8 pm
Cost: there is no charge to view the illumination
Venue: car park and garden / courtyard of Fresa Yoshimi, 508 Nakaarai, Yoshimi, Hiki District, Saitama 355-0119. View on Google Maps.
Yoshimi Town website
This venue is best visited by car. There is no train station or railway in Yoshimi. The nearest train station is Higashimatsuyama on the Tobu Tojo line. During the day there are bus options, but at night, the bus options are very limited. There is plenty of parking at Fresa Yoshimi.