My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: December 6, 2019
Despite the chilly weather, December nights in Tokyo are full of spectacular city views complimented by elaborate Christmas lights and illuminations. Spend an evening strolling down the beautifully lit streets of Ginza, and Omotesando, or head to Shiodome and Shinjuku to see spectacular illuminations utilizing hundreds of thousands of LEDs, projection mapping, and more.
For what is arguably the best illumination in Tokyo, head to Caretta Shiodome to witness a festive light and music show that boasts some 250,000 LEDs. Held from mid-November to mid-February, this is also one of the city’s longest-running illuminations.
A short walk from Roppongi Station, the Tokyo Midtown shopping promenade transforms into a winter wonderland of over 150,000 ambient blue lights, the number of LEDs changing each year. Held from mid-November to Christmas Day, the site is a popular date spot for couples. Be aware that the area tends to get crowded in the days leading up to Christmas, which is typically celebrated as a romantic date night.
With Skytree one of the newest major attractions in the city, local developers have upped the ante to draw holiday visitors to the area. Taking place from mid-November to Christmas Day, Tokyo Skytree Town Dream Christmas boasts approximately 520,000 LEDs, along with spectacular projection mapping shows, a Christmas light garden, and a Christmas-themed Skytree tower lit up in red and green.
TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN Dream Christmas
In terms of sheer scale, the Marunouchi illuminations are hard to beat, with around 1 million lights in total. The LED bulbs, in the district's original shade of champagne gold, cover the trees along Naka Dori, the 1.2-kilometer main boulevard. Around two-thirds of the lights have been upgraded to eco-friendly models, which produce an attractive brightness while consuming less power. The display runs from November, right through to mid-February.
The illuminations at Tokyo Dome City have the theme: "wa" (Japanese-style). Explore the complex to find LED versions of Mount Fuji, a sakura (cherry blossom) tree in full bloom, and a yagura (high wooden stage). Stop off at one of the many restaurants and cafés to enjoy their special winter menus.
TOKYO DOME CITY WINTER LIGHTS GARDEN
For the first time, this year's "Orange Illumination" will feature "Candle Tower," a steel replica of the main tower at a 1:30 scale. Tokyo Tower has long been referred to as "the candle of the city," as it brings a warm glow to the night sky. Candle Tower performs the same role for the illumination, complementing the real tower perfectly. Every 15 minutes from 4pm on, the scene comes to life with a multicolor light show.
Tokyo Tower Winter Fantasy: Orange Illumination 2019
Every year, Yomiuriland's "Jewellumination" event uses gemstone-inspired lights to create jaw-dropping displays on creative themes. The decorations cover every corner of the park—even the roller coasters! Expect towering Christmas trees, fountain shows with colorful jets of water, and limited-edition menus at Yomiuriland's food stalls. Each area has its own color scheme, so make sure to visit the entire park.
Many of Tokyo’s most popular shopping streets also partake in the holiday cheer with lights of their own. Omotesando, Roppongi, Ginza, Nihonbashi, Ebisu and Nakameguro all put up spectacular Christmas light displays. Enjoy a stroll down these enchanting streets, then relax with a meal or drink at one of the many dining establishments these areas are famous for.