Southern city’s lunar New Year celebration is even more ethereally beautiful when viewed from the rails.
Japan celebrates the new year on January 1, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. However, in certain cities with large Chinese ethnic populations, such as Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagasaki, festivities are also held for the lunar Chinese New Year.
In Nagasaki, the Chinese New Year celebration coincides with a larger event called the Nagasaki Lantern Festival. Along with other colorful decorations, over 15,000 paper lanterns are hung around the city’s Shinchi Chinatown, Hamaichi, and Kankodori neighborhoods.
ランタン巡り 長崎の冬の一大イベント 市内各所にカラフルなランタン！！ １万5000個のランタンが 街を灯しています(*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑ #長崎ランタンフェスティバル #写真好きな人と繋がりたい #おつかれさまでした https://t.co/NwFaXA2jnB—
ゆきみ✡¨̮♡* (@4832yHope6926) February 05, 2017
つばさふぉとぐらひ～@ランタン仕様 (@tsubachan7989) February 06, 2017
宇野橋ラスク@紫組加入 (@seek68) January 29, 2017
For fifteen days, locals and travelers alike come out after the sun goes down to walk the streets, bathed in soft crimson light. But while strolling under the lanterns gives the feeling of having slipped into another time or place, the scenery is even more otherwordly when viewed from the train, as in this video shared by Japanese Twitter user @hitsuji_eat.
羊食べる (@hitsuji_eat) February 03, 2017
Recorded while riding Nagasaki’s Electric Tramway streetcar network, the video shows the streetcar passing through a stretch of the city where few illuminated buildings can be seen from the windows. Instead, the tram appears to be traveling through a mysterious world of dark, empty space, save for the hundreds of lanterns seemingly floating in mid-air.
Appreciative online commenters have been gushing over the beautiful sight, with more than a few comparing it to the lantern-lit cityscape of celebrated Studio Ghibli anime Spirited Away. If you’re looking to repeat @hitsuji_eat’s ride, this year’s Lantern Festival will be going on until February 11. The video was recorded between Nigiwaibashi and Nishihamanomachi Stations, a three-minute journey that costs just 120 yen (US$1.03), which is a serious bargain for what looks like a trip to another world.