They may not be the first lanterns that have us thinking of Studio Ghibli in Japan, but when one takes a quiet train ride through the Nagasaki Lantern Festival, one can't help but feel as if they are being spirited away.

Featuring over 15,000 radiant paper lanterns, the Nagasaki Lantern Festival started as a celebration of the Chinese New Year in Nagasaki’s Shinichi Chinatown, before expanding in 1994 to become a region-wide festival. From January 28th to February 11th, attendees can enjoy parades, dragon dances, and theatrical performances as they bask in the glow of lanterns that turn nighttime strolls into an exploration of otherworldly charm. A recent video posted by @hitsuji_eat of a train ride through the Lantern Festival (from Nigiwaibashi to Nishi-hamanomachi) now shows that riding through the sea of glowing lanterns on a quiet night is not unlike passing through the dream-like world of Spirited Away.

@hitsuji_eat's passenger's view of the event is garnering comparisons to Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away, as well as Japan's nostalgic Showa Era. While breathtaking lantern festivals in Japan are nothing new, something about the port-city atmosphere in Nagasaki, often praised as romantic and reminiscent of a time of exploration, is reminding social media users just how spectacular the Nagasaki Lantern Festival can be, with many sharing gorgeous pictures.

Sayakaさん(@sappe_07)が投稿した写真 -

ERIさん(@eriiiy3)が投稿した写真 -

Ai-Yokoさん(@ai18yoko)が投稿した写真 -

While there aren't many days left in the annual event, you can always check the official website for yearly dates should you ever plan on attending the charming festival.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.