A production featuring the Nakanoshima area, symbol of Aquapolis Osaka, with light and sound, to promote the energy of Osaka. “OSAKA Hikari-Renaissance” started in 2003 with feelings such as this. It has become brighter as time has gone by, attracting over 3 million visitors last year. Each site has increased its scale to a greater extent this year. We will report on the backstage where such gleaming light is created. Knowing about their hard work, the twinkling light will look even more beautiful, and stronger emotions will move your heart.

OSAKA Hikari-Renaissance2010Area Map
OSAKA Hikari-Renaissance2010Area MapOSAKA Hikari-Renaissance2010Area MapOSAKA Hikari-Renaissance2010Area MapOSAKA Hikari-Renaissance2010Area Map For details: For details:


“Just like New Year’s Day”―― Ms. Oka still clearly remembers the lively night on December 24, 2003. She could not have imagined it only 20 days before. For Hikari-Renaissance, Ms. Oka first planned to make Miotsukushi Promenade on the south side of the City Hall into an entertaining street with light and music. “But it was simply a commuting thoroughfare, deserted at nighttime. We built an arcade of light about 150m long with 5 arches and illumination. People wondered ‘What are they doing?’ because nobody was was used to seeing things like that when out for a stroll.” The cool curiosity turned into slight excitement, “Look what they have.” spread by photo mail via cell phones which were just becoming trendy. The talk spread from mail to mail, mouth to mouth, culminating in New Year’s Day-like excitement on Christmas Eve. The “Wall Tapestry” held in a 100-year-old library façade also moved the visitors greatly. Since that time, visitors have increased in number every year. The “Lighted picture”, using the Central Public Hall façade as a screen,was added last year for even greater excitement.

Accordingly, Ms. Oka and partners aim for higher standards. “A picture on a postcard size film is projected onto an uneven wall over 20m high, requiring complicated measurements and calculation. The Central Public Hall has an orange wall which makes color matching difficult. The actual color may turn out dirty, 100 times more difficult than the library. It took 3-4 days and nights for only 5 pictures last year. I didn’t know night-time in Nakanoshima was so cold until I began this work. Who said it was a warm winter (laugh)?” Ms. Oka suggests putting aside ample time from daytime, for more enjoyment. “Now Nakanoshima has become very pretty, more boat landings, the best spot for strolling and cruising. Barrier-free construction is nice and secure for people in need of a wheelchair or caregiver. So enjoy the daytime scenery by looking at the riverside from a boat or by taking a stroll. And wait for the lighting at 5:00p.m. in your favorite site to enjoy various light entertainments. Knowing the daytime view allows you to experience deepened excitement.”

You may enjoy winter delicacies in the food court or the Marche of Light until lighting-up time. “OSAKA Hikari-Renaissance is not a mere illuminated event to display lighted objects. Staged in Nakanoshima where traditional and modern buildings co-exist and people come and go on the street, we want to create the charm of Osaka with lights and bring vitality to the city. I want as many people as possible to take this vitality home with them, even a single extra person is good.”

The “Miotsukushi Promenade” runs from east to west on the south side of the City Hall. Lined with approx. 40 zelkova trees on both sides, though it is well maintained, it is just a street. If it had feelings, it might be embarrassed at its French name promenade. During Hikari-Renaissance, it is filled with a romantic and whimsical glow, enough to even surpass the name. The construction team headed by Mr. Yasuhide Kure brings about its “transformation”

Having participated since the first event, Mr. Kure may feel as if Miotsukushi Promenade were his garden at home. “Since we are dealing with nature, the situation varies every year. A tree which was there last year may have died and disappeared. Even if it has not been cut, its branches may have changed. So our work starts from confirming if every tree exists as the plan or how the branches are. If we do not have each tree where it is supposed to be, the wiring route needs to be modified. There is 15m of wire for every tree with approx. 100 LED bulbs. Approx. 200,000 bulbs are put into the 150m of Miotsukushi Promenade, so there are roughly 2,000 wires. The bulbs are put on the trees by hand. We pay close attention to give an even view from all angles.

Rainy days are hard for outside work. “Efficiency decreases, and there are safety issues. We want sunny days right up to the last minute.” There was a time when a bulb filament blew out and the light did not turn on, but such worries have become almost nonexistent since the advent of LEDs. Inspection is crucial as the vinyl covering on the electric wire quickly deteriorates when exposed to sunlight and rain for more than a month. He cannot relax until the lights are turned off at midnight on December 25.
Mr. Kure recommends the “French Avenue” from the viewpoint of the builder. “Do not forget the illuminations on the 26 zelkova trees on the street, let alone the wonderful illuminated picture on the Central Public Hall. It should look like a wine glass. Ms. Oka requested ‘adding an image of the fizz when champagne is poured’. I was taken aback (laugh). Being professional, we got the design sketch, and repeated trial and error finally made it look like fizz. I am worried what it looks like if you do not know, but it looks like fizz if you think it is fizz, so please do believe it really is champagne fizz (laugh).”


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”OSAKA Hikari-Renaissance” is a stable winter feature of Osaka. We cast a spotlight on the hardworking people in the “shade” and asked about points to see. For those who have been before or who are coming for the first time this year, we will be happy if this issue helps you enjoy “OSAKA Hikari-Renaissance” from a different angle. I am going to warm my body with mulled wine while walking around Nakanoshima (I may be tottering though…). In our next edition we will introduce “Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street” which boasts of being the longest in Japan. To quote part of a haiku by Santoka, “Go deeper and deeper”, still in Shopping Street. Please look forward to the next issue filled with various charms!