Wintertime in Tokyo means…Christmas illuminations! In case you’re not sure what that is, they’re festive light-up displays. The most popular ones are annual events that happen again year after year, sometimes changing the theme and colours. In my opinion, Tokyo’s best wintertime light-ups are outdoors, not the ones you find inside malls. Here are a few of my recommendations for 2017.
Shinjuku Southern Terrace
The Shinjuku City Southern Terrace winter illumination runs until February 22nd. This year, pink fairy lights will light up the Southern Terrace commercial district, which can be found west of Shinjuku Station’s south exit.
Of course this popular boulevard would have its own light-up display each year. The trees lining Omotesando are decked out in classic whitish lights, and it’s nice to see a familiar area looking festive. Omotesando’s winter illumination ends on Christmas Day.
Shibuya Blue Cavern
Shibuya’s Blue Cavern, aka the Ao no Dokutsu, is a stretch of brightly lit blue trees from Koen-dori to Yoyogi Park. Unfortunately, this one will end early as well on December 31st.
Marunouchi Illumination on Naka-dori
Naka-dori’s in Marunouchi is one of the most popular light-up displays. This is because the area is very picturesque, an upscale shopping area, with cobbled streets, sidewalks (a rarity in most places) and fancy boutiques and hotels.
Roppongi Hills Artelligent Christmas 2017
Roppongi Hills’s Christmas light up is the quintessential image of wintertime in Tokyo. The familiar lane lined with trees, decked out in white lights, with Tokyo Tower looming on the horizon in its usual orange. According to event calendar this one ends on December 25th.
Ginza Illumination 2017
The Ginza Illumination this year finishes on January 8th. The 2017 show has doubled in size from last year! Where to find it, according to their official event site: “from 1-chome to 8-chome on Ginza-dori (Chuo-dori), and on Harumi-dori from the Sukiyabashi intersection to the Ginza 4-chome intersection area”.