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Best Tokyo Winter Illuminations 2016 東京冬季聖誕燈飾
Best Tokyo Winter Illuminations 2016 東京冬季聖誕燈飾

Top Picks for Tokyo Winter Illuminations 2016 by TokyoCheapo

1. Caretta Shiodome 汐留 Illumination 2016-17: Nov 17-Feb 14


Photo by Official event page

This event has proved to be such a hit with Christmas light-up junkies (many rank it as the best in a competitive field) that the event now goes until mid-February. This should hopefully ease the crowds slightly around the 24th of December.

The show features approximately 250,000 LEDs and accompanying music—and will take place every 20 minutes beginning at 17:00 and going until 23:00. There may be extra late shows closer to Christmas. The Shiodome is closed for Jan 1 and 2, 2017)

More here.

2. Roppongi Hills 六本木 Artelligent Christmas 2016: Nov 14-Dec 25

winter illuminations tokyo

Photo by David Ishikawa

Although there is a Christmas tree and the garden inside, Roppongi Hills has some lights strewn around it, the big illumination happens along Keyakizaka—the street which runs down a gentle slope on the Azabu side of the Hills. There are about 1,200,000 LEDs shining up the place turning from a “Snow and Blue” theme to “Candle and Red”. Lighting goes from 17:00-23:00 everyday.

winter illuminations tokyo

Photo by David Ishikawa More details here.

3. Midtown (東京ミッドタウン, Tōkyō Middotaun) Christmas 2016: Nov 15 to Dec 25


winter illuminations tokyo

Photo by David Ishikawa

This is hands down one of the most popular displays in Tokyo. If you dare to go there on December 24th (don’t!) then you will be greeted by hundreds of security guards herding the tens of thousands of champagne-carrying couples into a squishy mass of humanity on the edge of a sea of twinkly blue. It starts in mid-November, so just go early. This year the event’s boasting 180,000 lights and a new “starry sky illumination” technology. Details here.

4. Omotesando Hills 表参道 Christmas 2016: Dec 1-25

Photo by Maako Tazawa used under a Creative Commons license.

Photo by Maako Tazawa used under a Creative Commons license.

The mature zelkova trees, the wide sidewalks and the fancy shops make Omotesando one of the top illumination spots each winter. There aren’t really any gimmicks—you just go there and walk up and down. If you feel like a moment of ponderance, pop into Omotesando Hills to view their Christmas tree decorated with 30,000 bulbs which change color.

More on the Omotesando Hills website (link in Japanese).

5. Marunouchi/Ginza 銀座 2016-17: Nov 10 to Feb 19

marunouchi illumination

Photo by Official event page

Calling the Marunouchi Illumination a “winter illumination” is a bit of a misnomer as it seems to be “on” each year for about the same time as it’s “off”. Nonetheless, this illumination is one of the classier ones—with cobblestone streets, 200 roadside trees, public sculptures and the reproduced facades of big banks, this is probably the closest you’ll get to a ye olde European-style Christmas light-up. This year, they’re using “eco-illuminations,” lights that perform with 65% less power than standard. For an added Christmas-y touch, head over to the Mikimoto Christmas tree on Chuo Dori.

Lighting time is from 17:00 until 23:00 (and until 24:00 during the month of December)

More details here. (Link in Japanese)

6. Autumn Evening Illumination at Rikugien Gardens 六義園: Nov 19 to Dec 7

Fall evening

OK, it says “autumn” but at least half of it is in winter so it still counts. This is the ‘anti-Christmas’ with up-lighting illuminating the brilliant hues of the changing autumn leaves.

More about the event in our events section.

7. Tokyo Dome City 東京ドーム Tōkyō Dōmu Winter Illumination 2016-17: Nov 10 to Feb 19

tokyo dome illuminations

Photo by Tokyo-Dome.co.jp Something about the size and all the open space around Tokyo Dome makes it seem really, really cold in winter. Perhaps for this reason, they’re trying really hard to get you to go and see their winter light-up. This one features a mind-boggling 2 million LEDs. This year will feature iconic Italian themes in celebration of 150 years of Japan-Italian relations. 

Fantastic Tokyo stays by Pucchio


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419,554 views Nov 28, 2016

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