Osaka’s winter illuminations are split into two events under the “Festival of Lights” umbrella: Midosuji Illumination and Osaka Hikari Renaissance.
The Midosuji Illumination takes place from November 3rd until December 31st. It is officially recognized as the street with the most illuminated trees in the world, with lights strung up for 4 kilometers from the Ooebashi-Kitazune intersection to the Hanshin Mae intersection.
The Hikari Renaissance takes place from December 14th until December 25th between Osaka City Hall and Nakanoshima Park. A highlight will be a two-part projection mapping show on the facade of the historic Nakanoshima Library. There are two shows: Art of Light and a flower-based light painting display. The first will take place every 15 minutes or so between 5 pm and 9 pm while the second is on from 9 pm to 9:30 pm each evening.
This little mid-river island is closest to Naniwabashi Station on the Keihan-Nakanoshima line. It’s also very easily accessed from Yodoyobashi Station on the Keihan and Midosuji lines or Kitahama Station on the Sakaisuji Line.
If you’re keen to stay within walking distance of the lights (perfect for an evening stroll) then there are a few options. Coming in at under ¥10,000, the nearby Dormy Inn Natural Hot Spring Hotel has lovely baths and decently sized rooms. A little lower in price, the local First Cabin Hotel has small pod-like rooms with everything you need for a comfortable stay.