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Tokyo's Magical Nights: The City's Eight Most Beautiful Winter Illuminations

Tokyo's Magical Nights: The City's Eight Most Beautiful Winter Illuminations

Update:

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 winter illuminations. We've hand-picked the very best of those shining spectacles, guaranteeing for wonderful city strolls, fairytale-style!

2016 Shines in All New Colors!

2016 Shines in All New Colors!

November 14th (Mon) to December 25th (Sun)

The first illumination hotspot on our list is a real Roppongi winter tradition: around 1.2 million LED lights transform the Zelkova trees on the 400 meter long Keyakizaka Street into a magical alley. This spectacle is known to Tokyoites as the Keyakisaka Galaxy Illumination, usually imitating shimmering ice and snow with white and blue LEDs under the theme of Snow&Blue. This year, however, a new color scheme dips Roppongi in a warm, soft light that is sure to invoke a proper Christmas and New Year's spirit. Called Candle&Amber, this illumination is a two-color gradation that, as the name suggests, is created to resemble warm and atmospheric candle light.
The two illumination themes alternate periodically, with Candle&Amber lasting for 10 minutes and taking place at the top and bottom of every hour, while Snow&Blue fills the rest of the hour, lasting for 20 minutes each set.

Entry Fee: none
Hours: 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

  • Roppongi Keyakizaka Dori
    六本木けやき坂通り
    • Address 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo-to 106-6108

Illumination Illusion: Experience the Charms of Italy

Illumination Illusion: Experience the Charms of Italy

November 10th (Thu) to February 19th (Sun) 2017

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and Italy, stunning illuminations will be installed in Tokyo's Dome City, recreating an authentically Italian atmosphere to dream in. The title of the illumination event roughly translates to "Love♡Italy - to Amore, with the Magic of Light," hinting at what kind of highlights are to be discovered. One of them is a three meter high Leaning Tower of Pisa, recreated with thousands of tiny, glowing lights, as well as the House of Romeo and Juliet. A real seven meter high Christmas tree additionally invites to get lost in this beautiful, romantic atmosphere. These illuminations are not to be missed!

Entry Fee: None
Hours: 4:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
Holidays: None

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

Celebrating Winter: the Eco-Friendly Illuminations of Marunouchi

Celebrating Winter: the Eco-Friendly Illuminations of Marunouchi

November 10th (Thu) to February 19th (Sun) 2017
Otemachi Nakadori Street: from November 17th (Thu)

Particularly famous for their many brand shops, the 1.2 kilometer long Marunouchi Naka-Dori Street and the Otemachi Naka-Dori Street feature around 250 trees - and come winter, they are beautifully illuminated with around one million LED lights, creating a champagne-golden modern winter wonderland. One particularly positive 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 illumination is further powered by Marunouchi Nakamise-Dori Street's green power, namely solar and wind. This is the kind of illumination we'd like to see more often!

Entry Fee: None
Hours: 5:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Holidays: None

  • Marunouchi-Nakadori,Otemachi-Nakadori,Tokyo Station
    丸の内仲通り、大手町仲通り、東京駅周辺
    • Address Marunochi , Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0005, Japan

Recreating Space with a Million Tiny Lights

Recreating Space with a Million Tiny Lights

November 15th (Tue) to December 25th

Around half a million individual lights will adorn Tokyo Midtown during the event called "Midtown Christmas 2016." The highlight of these illuminations is the Starlight Garden 2016, stretching out over Midtown's vast 2,000 square meter lawn. In previous years, the main color scheme for this magical garden was the beautiful contrast between blue and white but this year, an entirely new theme has been thought out to surprise Tokyoites and visitors alike. Utilizing the light of four individual searchlights, various cosmic phenomena will be recreated in the large Vision Dome, giving visitors a glimpse of wonders such as the Big Bang, the beginning of the universe.

Entry Fee: None
Hours: 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Holidays: None

Shimmering Illuminations on Dark Waters: Yokohama Port and its Glorious Night View

Shimmering Illuminations on Dark Waters: Yokohama Port and its Glorious Night View

November 18th (Fri) to February 14th (Tue) 2017

The night view of the Port of Yokohama is rather beautiful in every season but during the winter months, the harbor scenery is illuminated my myriads of lights when the Pacifico Yokohama Winter Illumination 2016 takes place. Pacifico Yokohama is a convention and exhibition center at the port, and its entrance hall, the area around the QueenMall Bridge, as well as the seaside of the exhibition hall will be dipped in sparkling lights. From the wood deck, shining in seven different colors, to the champagne gold terminal, the entire harbor scenery turns into something quite magical during winter. In addition, the wide open space of the Rinko Park will be adorned with several illumination balls, inviting to a relaxed and mystical winter park stroll. The marvelous port illuminations transforming Yokohama's night scene is a beautiful seasonal sight that attracts thousands of people every year.

Entry Fee: None
Hours: sunset - midnight
Holidays: None

  • 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

Magical Omotesando: Zelkova Tree Illuminations

Magical Omotesando: Zelkova Tree Illuminations

December 1st (Thu) to December 25th (Sun)

These illuminations were created with one particular thought in mind: "We want to convey the lively spirit of Harajuku and Omotesando!"
As such, half a million beautiful LED lights illuminate the many Zelkova trees lining the street from the Meijijingu-Mae Intersection along the walkway to the shrine itself, as well as from the Meiji Shrine Bridge Crossing to the Omotesando Intersection. Bathe in a warm champagne gold light stretching along for roughly one kilometer!

Entry Fee: None
Hours: Sunset - 9:00 p.m. (until 10:00 p.m. from 19th to 25th)
Holidays: None

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

Traditional Japanese Beauty Conveyed in Modern Illuminations

Traditional Japanese Beauty Conveyed in Modern Illuminations

December 3rd (Sat) to December 25th (Sun)

Held in the Showa Memorial Park, these beautiful illuminations follow the theme of "The Beauty of Japan, the Soul of Japan," honoring traditional Japanese aesthetics and patterns, as well as the country's rich nature and its world heritage sites. Some of the highlights are the 4.5 meter high champagne glass tree situated in the famous circular flower bed of the Tachikawa entrance, as well as the many ginkgo trees lining the canal shining in thousands of lights. From the 23rd to the 25th of December, firework shows enhance the magical atmosphere even further. This is the place to be for celebrating winter in a modern Japanese way - traditions combined with technology.

Entry Fee: None
Hours: 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (last entry: 8:50 p.m.)
Holidays: None

Illumination Extravaganza: the Largest Chandelier in Baccarat's History

Illumination Extravaganza: the Largest Chandelier in Baccarat's History

November 5th (Sat) - January 9th (Mon, national holiday) 2017

This illumination event, held in the Ebisu Garden Place, doesn't only celebrate its own 17th birthday but also the 250th anniversary of Baccarat, an incredibly famous crystal glassware and jewelry manufacturer from France. This year's illumination will be especially extravagant, designed in a collaboration with the famous designer Yasumichi Morita, featuring the largest chandelier in Baccarat's long history. Its many crystals and mirrors are an almost enigmatic sight, while the large, classic Christmas tree takes care of the proper holiday spirit. In addition, around 100,000 tiny bulbs illuminate the entire space, dipping the scenery of the Ebisu Garden Place in a warm and soft light.

Entry Fee: None
Hours: Baccarat Chandelier: 12:00 p.m. - midnight
Christmas Illumination: 4:00 p.m. - midnight
Both: 5:00 p.m. - Midnight on November 5th (Sat)

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

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