Tokyo Illuminates During the Holidays
By Lisa Hong
My favorite yearly events in Japan – Cherry Blossom parties in the spring, festivals in the summer, pumpkin and chestnut eating in the fall… and holiday lights in the winter! Tokyo really knows how to bring on the festivities. No matter what kind of year you have been experiencing, you can start the new one with the glimmer you picked up from the city’s illuminations.
Actually, “glimmer” would be an understatement. I’m not talking about a few lights sprinkled here and there. Imagine so many high-quality LED lights that they sparkle like jewels spewed across everywhere. Lights so beautiful, radiating, and entrancing that they just flood through your eyes.
From 5pm to 11pm, enjoy this spectacular vision as you eat, shop, or just roam around Tokyo!
Tokyo Midtown:Photo by OiMax
Right outside of the Midtown shopping center is an illumination show in which lights zip and zoom across a field. People will wait 2-3 hours in line to watch this up close, but with the cold weather, the more comfortable place to watch this is from the 2nd floor of the shopping center. Prepare to stare absentmindedly as the brilliant lights dance along in front of you.
Roppongi Hills:Photo by Manish Prabhune
The lights along the streets dazzle in a diamond-like glaze. Then, every so often, the lights turn into a fiery red that seems to warm up the atmosphere. In the shopping plaza, Roppongi also hosts a yearly German Christmas Market complete with beer, sausages, and ornaments.
Wander through a garden of sparkling lights and feel as if you are in a fairy tale land. Caretta is just part of a larger shopping complex, so there are more decorations and illuminations to be seen around.
The Southern Terrace outside of the JR Shinjuku Station – a festive meeting ground for you and your friends. Admire the scenery before continuing on to explore the rest of this bustling city within a city.Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson
Starting at the Nakameguro Station, walk along this popular river where lights illuminate where cherry blossoms usually do. The glistening reflections off of the water make the evening even more brilliant.
Nearby Tokyo, you can make a trip to Yokohama’s Landmark Tower and MARK IS Minatomirai. These complexes have been taken over by Disney-sponsored lights. Immerse yourself in this fantasy world where your favorite Disney tales radiate.
While in Yokohama, you can also go to the famous Red Brick Warehouse, where a massive German Christmas Market is held, with even more lights, sausages, beer, and Christmas ornaments.Photo by Hideo
Popular walking streets such as Omotesando, Ginza, Yebisu, and Akasaka Sacas also light up to get you into the holiday mood.
So, grab your Kairo (heat pack), camera and enjoy Tokyo’s electric winter wonderland!