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[2017] Holiday Magic: Tokyo’s Top 8 Winter Illuminations

[2017] Holiday Magic: Tokyo’s Top 8 Winter Illuminations

Update: 8 December 2017

When the temperatures fall and the nights get longer, the city of Tokyo and its surroundings transform into a magical winter wonderland, lit up by elaborate and beautiful illuminations. We've hand-picked the very best of those shining spectacles of Tokyo’s lights, guaranteeing wonderful and romantic city strolls, fairytale-style!

Two-Colored Illumination Magic in Roppongi

Two-Colored Illumination Magic in Roppongi

Roppongi celebrates this year’s winter with about 1.2 million tiny LED lights that adorn the 400-meter long tree-lined street called Keyakizaka. These “Keyakizaka Illuminations” enchant passersby and holiday tourists with beautiful color gradations. One set is called SNOW & BLUE and shimmers in elegant silvery white and icy blue before changing to CANDLE & AMBER, a warm yellow and orange that fills the whole street with a proper holiday spirit!

Location: Roppongi Keyakizaka-Dori
Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
CANDLE & AMBER: twice every hour for 10 minutes, directly on the hour and 30 minutes past.
SNOW & BLUE: twice every hour for 20 minutes, from 10 and 40 minutes past the hour.
※5:00 p.m. – 5:05 p.m. is SNOW & BLUE, 5:05 – 5:10 is CANDLE & AMBER
Period: November 7 to December 25, 2017

Tokyo Dome City: A Shining Candy Paradise

Tokyo Dome City: A Shining Candy Paradise

Every year, the Tokyo Dome City Winter Lights Garden enchants Tokyoites and tourists with whimsical illuminations following a theme – sometimes elegant, sometimes fun.
This year, the garden turns into a colorful candy wonderland, utilizing a topic that can be translated as “Heartthrob Candy – Sweet & Shiny Presents.” The name alone suggests that you’re in for a fantastical world of glittering, shimmering candies, gingerbread houses, ice creams, and other treats and snacks from the world of sweets. Walking along the playful, colorful decorations is like a dream come true, so take your time and bring someone special to enjoy this fantasy together!

Hours: 4:00 p.m. – midnight (varies by location)
Period: November 9, 2017, to February 18, 2018

  • Tokyo Dome City
    東京ドームシティ
    • Address 1-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo-to 112-8575

The Eco-Friendly Champagne Illuminations in Marunouchi

The Eco-Friendly Champagne Illuminations in Marunouchi

Particularly famous for their many brand-name shops, the 1.2-kilometer-long Marunouchi Naka-Dori Street and the Otemachi Naka-Dori Street feature around 200 trees. Come winter, they are beautifully illuminated with almost one million LED lights, creating a champagne-golden modern winter wonderland. One particularly feel-good characteristic of the Marunouchi and Otemachi illuminations is that the LEDs use only around 65% of the power that conventional lights use, making them especially eco-friendly. This environmentally conscious Tokyo illumination is further powered by the “green” power used on Marunouchi Nakamise-Dori Street, namely solar and wind power. This is the kind of illumination we'd like to see more often. It’s great to see such beautiful Tokyo lights come from something that is also friendly to the environment!

Location: Marunouchi Naka-Dori Street, Otemachi Naka-Dori Street, around Tokyo Station
Hours: 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. – midnight during December)
※The illuminations in Otemachi Naka-Dori Street will be lit up from 5:00 p.m. - midnight
Period: November 9, 2017, to February 2, 2018
※The illuminations in Otemachi Naka-Dori Street will be lit up until November 16, 2018.

  • The Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building
    • Address 1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0005
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    • Nearest Station Tokyo Station (Tokaido Shinkansen Line / Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Tokaido Main Line / JR Yokosuka Line / JR Sobu Main Line (Rapid) / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Chuo Main Line / JR Keiyo Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)

Tokyo Midtown: Drift into a Universe of Lights!

Tokyo Midtown: Drift into a Universe of Lights!

The massive complex known as Tokyo Midtown also celebrates winter and the holiday season in an illumination event called “Midtown Christmas 2017.” About half a million LED lights dip various parts of Tokyo Midtown in shimmering colors, making for a beautiful, almost otherworldly scenery. Especially noteworthy is the show called “Starlight Garden 2017” that takes place on the complex’ vast lawn of 2,000 square meters.
Every day of the week, another planet is visited in innumerable tiny lights, its own stellar phenomena and characteristics majestically portrayed with both light and sound. Sun on Sunday, for example, will warm your heart with vivid gold and red, while the silvery light of the Moon on Monday emits a calm and tranquil atmosphere. This large-scale illumination event celebrates the 10th anniversary of Tokyo midtown’s opening and is one of the unmissable highlights of this year’s Tokyo winter season.

Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
※The Welcome Illuminations are lit up until midnight.
Period: November 15 to December 25, 2017

See the Lights Reflected on the Shimmering Waters of Yokohama Port

See the Lights Reflected on the Shimmering Waters of Yokohama Port

The night view of the Port of Yokohama is beautiful at any time of the year, but nothing compares to its illuminations in winter. The harbor scenery is illuminated with a myriad of lights when the Pacifico Yokohama Winter Illuminations 2017 takes place. The areas to be lit up with sparkling lights are the convention and exhibition center at the port called the Pacifico Yokohama, its entrance hall, the area around the Queen Mall Bridge, as well as the seaside of the exhibition hall. The wood deck shines in seven different colors and the terminal is coated in a champagne gold glow, turning the entire harbor into something quite magical during winter.
This year, the Pacifico Yokohama Winter Illuminations 2017 might just be the longest in all of Japan, as they are planned to take place until White Day (March 14). If you are looking for a uniquely romantic date spot, the Port of Yokohama is the place to go!

Hours: sunset – midnight
Period: November 1, 2017, to March 14, 2018

  • PACIFICO Yokohama, QueenMall Bridge, Rinko Park, etc.
    パシフィコ横浜 クイーンモール橋周辺およびぷかりさん橋、ほか
    • Address 1-1-1 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 220-0012

Omotesando Illuminations: A Dream of Zelkova Trees Dipped in Light

Omotesando Illuminations: A Dream of Zelkova Trees Dipped in Light

The Omotesando Illuminations, organized by the Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki Organization, follow the area’s general theme of “Be Inspired by Omotesando.” Thus, almost a million LED lights adorn the famous fashion street’s characteristic Zelkova streets and dip the entire area in a mystical golden light. Take a walk from Jingubashi Crossing to the Omotesando Intersection while bathing in the warm winter fantasy of one of Tokyo’s most iconic districts!

Hours: sunset – 10:00 p.m.
Period: November 30 to December 25, 2017
※The plants will be illuminated until January 8, 2018.

  • Omotesando Intersection
    表参道交差点周辺
    • Address 4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 150-0001

Showa Memorial Park: Shimmering Trees of Champagne

Showa Memorial Park: Shimmering Trees of Champagne

Showa Memorial Park in Tokyo’s west is known for having astonishingly beautiful winter illuminations every year. This year, Tokyoites are eagerly looking forward to the park’s Winter Vista Illumination 2017. A light tree made out of 15,000 shining champagne glasses is one of the must-see highlights of this year, along with the “Four Seasons” theme of the grand illuminations. The many ginkgo trees of Showa Memorial Park create a magical tunnel of light that’ll make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different world entirely, while a “fireworks in winter” show might just be one of the most romantic things to enjoy this season.

※Fireworks are launched on December 2, December 16, and December 23 to 25.

Park Admission: 410 yen (adults), 80 yen (junior high and elementary school kids), 210 yen (65 years and older) – please bring proof of your age.
Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (last admission at 8:50 p.m.)
Period: December 2 to December 25, 2017
Holidays: always open

Yebisu Garden Place Illuminations: the Timelessness of Crystals

Yebisu Garden Place Illuminations: the Timelessness of Crystals

Yebisu Garden Place is among Tokyo’s hot spots that get a shiny makeover every winter season. This year marks the 18th anniversary of the well-beloved illuminations that follow the theme of “Timelessness” this time.
And what’s more timeless than crystals? Look forward to a huge, shining chandelier by Baccarat, one of the largest in the world. Adorned with numerous lights, it emits a majestic, fantastical aura and thoroughly satisfies that desire for royal beauty that you never knew you had. The second highlight is the classic Christmas tree shining in soft colors, giving a very warm and loving touch to the illumination installation.

Baccarat Chandelier
Hours: 12:00 p.m. – midnight
Period: November 11, 2017, to January 8, 2018

Illuminations
Hours: 4:00 p.m. – midnight
Period: November 11, 2017, to January 8, 2018

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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