While staying inside and getting cozy is one of the greatest things to do during the cold winter days, heading out and enjoying Tokyo’s magical illuminations is the top activity to do once the sun has set! Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi, Caretta Shiodome, Omotesando, and the Ebisu Garden Place are well-beloved illumination spots that surprise tourists and Tokyoites every year with new and creative illumination ideas. We’ll shine a light on Tokyo’s five must-see illumination spots!
Hanayashiki Illuminations: Like Cherry Blossoms at Night in Tokyo’s Oldest Amusement Park
Asakusa Hanayashiki is Japan’s oldest amusement park and in celebration of its 163rd anniversary, beautiful illuminations will light up the park for the second year. Utilizing the theme of “Cherry Blossom Romance,” Hanayashiki will transform into a flowery winter wonderland with around half a million pink LED lights. While the park is fun for the entire family, the calm and mystical atmosphere created at night turns Hanayashiki into a far more sophisticated space. Next to the illuminations themselves, various shows are being held, such as the “Lumiyashiki Fountain Show,” featuring original songs, or the popular panda cars which have also been adorned with their very own illuminations.
Among all the shiny lights and events, our recommended photo spot is the Sky Plaza. Not only can you look over the entirety of Hanayashiki but you’ll also get a magnificent view on Tokyo Skytree(R) towering in the distance. There’s no better way to commemorate your visit to the historic amusement park than by taking a snapshot of yourself amidst beautiful cherry blossom illuminations and Tokyo Skytree right behind you!
Entry: 2,000 yen for park entry and unlimited rides for six attractions
Event Period: October 18, 2017, to April 1, 2018
Shibuya’s Illuminations: Yoyogi Park Transforms into a Blue Cave
“Blue Cave Shibuya” is an illumination installation that recreates the “Blue Cave” in Nakameguro, which has been immensely popular since its first launch in 2014. Look forward to the dream-like experience of walking through a cave-like tunnel of 600,000 tiny, blue LED lights that adorn the about 800-meter long Zelkova road in Yoyogi Park. Blue Cave Shibuya is so magical, it feels like a whole different world entirely – forgotten is the hustle and bustle of the big city and the cold temperatures. Just let your mind wander and be thoroughly enchanted by this ice-like winter wonderland.
Location: From Shibuya Koen Dori to Yoyogi Park Zelkova Street, about 800 meters
Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (may be subject to change)
Period: November 22, 2017, to December 31, 2017
Ueno Park’s Magnificent Winter Cherry Blossoms
Ueno Park is known for its about 100 magnificent cherry trees that blossom beautifully during spring – in winter, a similar phenomenon can be experienced when these very trees are lit up by 50,000 “sakura-color” LEDs. These winter cherry blossoms create a fantastical world that is vastly different from spring’s charms, with the soft, warm light of the LED lights making for one of Tokyo’s most amazing winter illuminations of this year.
Location: Ueno Park, cherry blossom trees
Hours: 4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Period: October 27, 2017, to January 15, 2018
Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
Ueno Station （Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line）
1 minute on foot
- Phone Number 03-3828-5644
- Address Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
The Eco-Friendly Champagne Illuminations in Marunouchi
The classic Marunouchi illuminations celebrate their 16th anniversary this year. About 250 trees are lit up in a beautiful champagne gold with the help of almost a million LED lights. The best thing about this winter wonderland installment? Both the LEDs and the power with which they’re so beautifully lit up are eco-friendly.
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.
Around Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 2-3 chome, 100-0005
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）
1 minute on foot
- Address Around Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 2-3 chome, 100-0005
Illumination Magic in Roppongi: From Candlelight to Snow and Back
Another classic of Tokyo’s illuminations is the Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka Illuminations, which are particularly popular due to Tokyo Tower shining in the background. Since last year, Keyakizaka is lit up in a beautiful gradation of colors in not one but two color sets: one is the urban and sophisticated SNOW & BLUE, consisting of snow-white and deep blue LEDs. The other set is all about the warmth of holidays, as the color set called CANDLE & AMBER utilizes these very colors to transform the area into a warm, festive dream. These two sets, created with around 1.2 million individual LED lights, alternate between each other at regular intervals, allowing visitors to Roppongi Hills to enjoy the illuminations in two unique ways.
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
Illumination at Caretta Shiodome
Caretta Shiodome is a shopping and dining center in Tokyo’s Shiodome area. Every winter, a popular new illumination series is produced and shown. This year's theme, "True Love Story," was inspired by 2017's most popular film, Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
Last year, about 460,000 people visited to see the illuminations at Caretta Shiodome. This year, while maintaining the blue color which has come to symbolize Caretta illuminations, the light of the main tower is colored "Belle Yellow," which is the main character Belle's dress color, inspired the romantic ballroom scene from Beauty and the Beast.
Related events are also being held on the B2, B1, ground and 46th floors of Caretta.
Location: Caretta Shiodome; B2, B1, ground, 46th floors
Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., with shows every 15 minutes
Period: November 16, 2017 to February 14, 2018
Among the numerous beautiful illumination spots in Tokyo, these are our definite favorites. Every single one of them offers its own kind of winter magic, whether you’re wandering through an icy, blue cave or bask in the soft light of champagne-colored LEDs. No matter how cold the harsh air of winter may be, these fantastical sceneries are sure to warm your heart!
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