Nagasaki Lantern Festival Kicks off in Full-Scale Event for First Time in Four Years; 29th Edition of Event Features 15,000 Chinese-Style Lanterns

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Visitors take photos at the Nagasaki Lantern Festival in Nagasaki City on Friday.

NAGASAKI — The Nagasaki Lantern Festival, which celebrates the Lunar New Year, kicked off in Nagasaki City on Friday in a full-scale event for the first time in four years.

Featuring about 15,000 Chinese-style vivid lanterns, the 29th edition of the festival is being held at Nagasaki’s Chinatown and several other locations in the central part of the city through Feb. 25.

The annual seasonal event in Nagasaki City — which is home to Dejima, a man-made island that served as Japan’s only spot for overseas trade during the years of national isolation in the Edo period (1603-1867) — was held last year with some restrictions after being suspended for the previous two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Among various events scheduled throughout the festival period, a parade will be held on Feb. 17 featuring Nagasaki Prefecture-native actors Masaharu Fukuyama and Riisa Naka playing as the emperor and empress from the Ching dynasty.