One of the most beautiful illumination events on the winter calendar takes place at Kumamoto's Kurokawa Onsen. The Yu Akari Illumination is now in its tenth year, and it sees hundreds of locally-crafted bamboo lanterns decorating the town.
The bamboo lanterns come in two types - spherical temari lanterns, and cylindrical lanterns that stand approximately two meters in height - and they'll be illuminated from nightfall until 10 pm throughout the event's duration.
Admission is free of charge.
The easiest way to access Kurokawa Onsen is either by private vehicle or by bus. Buses depart from Kumamoto Station several times daily, and the travel time is approximately three hours.
For those trying to utilize the train network as much as possible, the closest station is Aso Station (Hohi Main Line) which also offers bus services to Kurokawa Onsen, but they require advance reservations. These can be made by contacting Kyushu Sanko Bus on +81 96-325-8243.
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