I arrived at Nabana no Sato late in the afternoon, which gave me some time to enjoy the flower park and a leisurely meal while excitedly waiting for the winter illumination event to start. The park got busy just before the lights turned on, with most people heading directly to the first light tunnel in the main illumination area. I decided to wait until the crowds died down and staked out a nice photo spot at the edge of the main pond. The light show here was simple, yet beautiful.
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Lights danced across the water along a curved track, changing colours to match the chapel in the background. The show incorporated music too, so with the variety of light and sound I could sit there for a while and see many different short performances. Once the crowds thinned out, I made my way to the main event area. Greeting me at the entrance was a very long tunnel of lights, a signature display of the Nabana no Sato winter illumination. I was mesmerized! The warm golden lights arched above me with such elegance, stretching further down the path than I could have imagined.
As music played around me, I very slowly wandered down the tunnel, stopping to take photos and, more importantly, savour the moment. Even though the light tunnel was busy, it was a nice atmosphere with happy, smiling people all around enjoying a night out. After the tunnel I came to another main attraction of the Nabana no Sato winter illumination- the animated light show! An entire field was filled with lights, backed by a wall of LEDs that changed colour to show different moving scenes.
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Each year the light show at Nabana no Sato has a different theme. The show was so impressive that I watched it twice- once at field level, and then again from the observatory building. As I made my way back into the main area of the park, I got to walk through another gorgeous tunnel of lights. For some extra wow-factor, the lights gradually changed colour from green to bright pink, portraying the different stages of cherry blossom growth.
The still water, black under the night sky, was the perfect canvas for a mirror image of leafless trees. The light placement was so impeccable that it made the reflections look three dimensional, like I could reach out and grab hold of the branches. Absolutely stunning! I had a wonderful time exploring the small flower park before the event began, especially the Plum Garden. I loved wandering among the weeping plum trees, which were nearing full bloom and smelled oh-so sweet. There was a chapel, tea house, market, onsen, outdoor foot bath, beer garden, street food vendors, and restaurants.
Of course the main attraction was the illumination and it did not disappoint. Everything was unforgettable- the tunnels, light shows, reflections, lit up trees- it all was fabulous. I only wished the park was bigger so there was even more light displays to enjoy! It can easily be visited as a day trip from Nagoya. Getting There: You can get to Nabana no Sato from Nagoya in about 30 minutes using public transportation. There are a couple different options to get there, but I took and recommend the direct bus.
Admission: It costs more to enter the flower park during the winter illumination but your admission includes vouchers worth yen that can be used at the shops and restaurants. Entrance to the Begonia Garden, onsen, and Mt. Heart failure was a relatively common cause of death at that time, usually as a result of heart valve diseases caused by a disease called "rheumatic fever" which was common among poorer people in the earlier years of the twentieth century. The full report of this woman's passing reveals a touching affirmation of her religious beliefs, although the cause of her experience was rooted in her body function.
Lady Florence Barrett was the wife of Sir William Barrett, and was also the obstetrician of this dying woman. She reported how the woman revivied after a short period of unconsciousness. Suddenly she looked eagerly to one part of the room, a radiant smile illuminating her whole countenance. I Lady Barrett asked, "What is lovely? But then she turned to her husband, who had come in, and said, "You won't let the baby go to anyone who won't love him, will you? Her husband was leaning over her and speaking to her, when pushing him aside she said, "Oh, don't hide it; it's so beautiful.
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These last two passages reveal that the presence of her husband before her eyes blocked her vision of the "lovely brightness", something which could only happen if the brightness was due to light entering her eyes. No-one else reported seeing a lovely brightness in the room. So the only way this woman could see a lovely brightness due to light entering her eyes under these circumstances was due to widening of her pupils! Widening of the pupils is one cause of "seeing the light", or of being "engulfed by light". Yet while widening of the pupils is a cause of this experience, it does not explain light experiences undergone by those whose eyes are closed, or those people who are in the dark.
These light experiences are due to other causes. Nerve fibers from the eyes eventually end in the visual cortex, number 5 in the drawing above. This part of the brain is highly structured, because the positions where the nerve fibers from the eyes terminate in the visual cortex are related to where they originate in the retina. Accordingly the visual cortex has a highly structured organisation. One consequence of this is seen in the effects of activation of the visual cortex due to factors such as:.
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All these effects can give rise to the visual experience of bright light, as well as the experience of passing through a tunnel to enter a region of bright light as was suggested by Dr. Susan Blackmore 5. So changes in eye and brain function can generate the sensations of light, of bright light, as well as sensations of passing through a tunnel to enter a region of light, or of passing through a tunnel of light. Even so, this still does not explain all experiences of light.
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The effects of severe disease, the mental effects of drugs, the mental effects of withdrawal of some drugs, and well as the effects of some mental states can all induce states of mind during which people hallucinate that they see light, experience light, or pass through a tunnel of light. It does not really matter that these people are hallucinating, because they really are experiencing light, seeing a bright light, or passing through a tunnel of light.
Indeed, functional brain scanning of hallucinating people reveals that the brain areas concerned with vision are just as active in these people as if they were seeing things with their eyes 6,7. There are several ways people can experience an experience of darkness without the necessity of invoking a spiritual cause. Such oxygen starvation is usually not sudden, as occurs during fainting, or cessation of heartbeat. Instead it is usually more gradual in onset, and this is where the distribution of blood flow in the retina determines what people see during these periods.
It is worth while first looking at the basic anatomy and function of the human eye. Now we come to the retina itself.
Not only does the retina consume more oxygen than the brainstem, which is why people suffering from oxygen starvation always see darkness before losing consciousness, but the distribution of the flow of blood to the retina means the retina has a structure making it uniquely suited to generating tunnel experiences.
The figure shows the retina as seen when looking through the cornea into the back of the eye. The retina is fed with oxygen and nutrients from blood vessels radiating out from the "fovea", which is also the point where the optic nerve enters the eye see drawing of eye above. The retina is made up of nerve tissue consuming enormous amounts of oxygen, and this oxygen is supplied to the retina as oxygen chemically bound to to the hemoglobin in the blood flowing through the arteries.
The aerties radiate out in a circular pattern, forming a circle, which means that the supply of blood and oxygen to each square millimeter of the retina decreases with distance from the fovea according to the graph, i.
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This relationship for blood supply to the retina has been demonstrated many times. Because the oxygen consumption to the retina is more or less similar all over the retina, this means that reducing the supply of oxygen to the retina by any one of the myriad causes of oxygen starvation will cause failure of the outer peripheral parts of the retina before causing the cental retina to fail.
The result of this is that the affected person will only see a central spot of light surrounded by darkness - "tunnel vision".
The figure below shows how this happens in an oxygen starved retina. Diagram-A shows the flow of blood from the fovea to the periphery of the retina, and the grey coloration indicates that the degree of oxygen starvation increases with distance from the fovea. Diagram-B shows the situation of looking at a man through such an oxygen starved eye. In the normally functioning eye, the image of the man is projected upon the retina from N to NN, and the person can see the figure of the whole man.
But when a sufficient degree of oxygen starvation causes failure of the peripheral retina, a situation arises where the areas of the retina from N to H, and from HH to NN no longer function. This means that nerve signals generated by the retina in response to the image of this man only arise from the still functioning area of retina H to HH. The effect is that the image of his upper and lower body disappear - it is like looking at the man through a tube, or a tunnel. And because only the region of retina from H to HH functions, the partial image of the man is seen to be surrounded by darkness.