Christmas lights decorate a quiet country town in Ichinoseki.
As you drive along the dark, mountainous roads of Murone, take a bit of a detour and you may encounter an enchanted strip of road brilliantly lit up in Christmas lights.
It’s not an area where people often commute through; the population of the town being less than 800 people, but some years ago, the townsfolk started decorating their houses with Christmas lights. What started off with two houses has over the years, expanded to a 500m long strip. Now every year during late Nov to early Jan, people gather here to enjoy this special sight. The displays change to reflect what the current year brought about. So what was 2020 about here? We saw lights featuring ‘corona’, ‘Amabie’ (a mythical being that is said to repel plagues and diseases), and Kimetsu aka Demon Slayer (a popular anime).
This event was featured on a popular nationwide television show 「ナニコレ珍百景」last year, a show in which rare or special things happening in Japan are introduced.
You may be thinking, hang on, what is so rare about houses being decorated during the Christmas/New year period? Many large cities have extravagant illumination events and some people do decorate their houses during this time of year, but what makes this special is the resolve of the Tsuyagawa locals who are working together to invigorate their town which is experiencing what many country towns in Japan are; a severely aging, dwindling population where only the remnants of businesses remain.
Date: Nov 23 2021 ~ Jan 7 2022
Details: head towards here, the main strip of road will be lit up!