Just before Christmas, Jeremy and I on an ITT trip to Bihuko Park to see their Illumination display. It was supposed to be much larger than the one that is in Hiroshima that we usually go to. We met the buses at the library on base for the ride down there. We were surprised to see snow during the three-hour drive.
When we first arrived at Bihoku Park it was still daylight. We had a couple of hours to explore the park before everything was lit up.
Jeremy and I decided to go check out the part of the park that was supposed to have more walking trails. The path we followed around a couple of ponds. The pathway was lined with wood carvings. I loved the lanterns on the banks and in the ponds. The ones on the banks had Hell flowers and the lanterns in the water had lotus painted on them.
To me, those two flowers have a special meaning to me. Y’all already know why lotuses mean so much to me. Seeing them randomly pop up in my life just reminds me that I’m doing what’s right. Hell flowers are a flower I just found about this past August. They were these odd red flowers that suddenly popped up in random places. I thought they were gorgeous. It seemed like whenever they popped up, something good or an adventure was about to happen. I’m a believer in signs.
Just past the ponds was a stage. It had dragons made of dried straw hanging just under the roof. It was really cool to see.
As the sun started setting, Jeremy and I headed back to the entrance of the park to check out the food vendors. Jeremy found blowfish soup that he had to try. We both ordered ramen and yakitori for dinner. It was delicious and the perfect thing to eat in the cold.
Afterwards, we found a stand that was selling giant marshmallows. Jeremy bought us each a marshmallow. After trying to figure out how to roast them over the coals for a few minutes, a Japanese man came up and showed us how to hold them so the marshmallow would toast. It was very different than how we used to roasting them in flames.
After we ate our toasted marshmallows we found a bridge where people were decorating Christmas trees. There was some sort of competition going on. As we walked back to the main area, we noticed that they had lit the bonfire signaling that it was almost time to light the displays!
Once the lights came on the park looked so magical! We decided to buy tickets for a light up train that drove through the side of the park we didn’t walk through earlier. It was so cool to ride through the displays.
After the train ride, we rewalked the pathway we had first walked. The displays were so beautiful in the dark. The lanterns looked even prettier lit up. It was perfect.
As we walked along, we found a building where actors were doing shadow plays for people walking by. We stopped and watched for a bit but we couldn’t figure out what story they were portraying.
We walked around the park and found a tunnel to take pictures in. Surprisingly it was fairly empty for us to do so.
Before headed back to the buses to go back to Iwakuni, we went back to the bridge where the people had been decorating the Christmas trees. The trees were beautiful all lit up.
Bihoku Park is amazing. I highly recommend anyone visiting during the holidays this year to go check it out. There is stuff for kids to do and plenty for adults. If you go with ITT, it isn’t that expensive and saves you the stress of driving that far.