The end of the year can be the most romantic season of all! After the autumn foliage fades, the bare branches of trees are set aglow at night, wrapped in dazzling psychedelic light. This is Tokyo - the incredible city of light!
Japan's traditional dazzling nightscapes include areas like Marunouchi, near Tokyo Station; the nightlife center of Roppongi; and Omotesando Hills, among others, each blanketed in romantic hues. It is this beautiful illuminated scenery that warms the chilly winter nights. And the best thing is that many of these areas are free! Follow along as we introduce some of Tokyo's most popular sights for winter lights.
Roppongi Hills and Roppongi Midtown 2018: Vast and romantic illuminations!
When it comes to winter illuminations in Tokyo, one of the most famous is Roppongi. At this time of the year, the area is enveloped in a very strong festival atmosphere, drawing in some 7 million visitors each year.
Festive holiday decorations adorn the roads along Roppongi Hills, while its Christmas Market (November 23 - December 25) becomes a fun spot to splurge on gifts.
Meanwhile at Roppongi Midtown a giant display with 190,000 LED bulbs is held. This year's theme is "The Universe" and it's bound to be spectacular! Plus, from November 13 to December 16, you can catch a special exhibit at the same spots featuring some 450,000 soap bubbles, intensifying the experience as they catch hold of the surrounding glowing light.
Roppongi Hills Christmas 2018
・Lighting time: November 16, 2018 to December 25, 2018 17:00～23:00
・Lighting location: Roppongi Hills facility
・Transportation: Exit 1C of Roppongi Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. 4 minutes walk from Exit 3 of Roppongi Station on the Toei Oedo Line.
Tokyo Midtown (Roppongi)
・Time: November 13, 2018 to December 25, 2018, 17:00 to 23:00
・Location: 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
・Transportation: Take the underground link at the Roppongi Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line.
Caretta Shiodome Winter Illumination 2018: Enjoy the season with Disney characters from "Frozen" and "Rapunzel"!
The 13th annual Caretta Shiodome Winter Illumination will be held in 2018. The past few years have seen Disney themes come to light, and this year's breathtaking illumination will be no less spectacle. The theme for 2018 incorporates images and characters from "Frozen" and "Rapunzel". It is a thorough sensory feast for all Disney fans! In addition, Caretta has an observation space on the 46th floor, from which you can see the twinkling night view of Tokyo!
Caretta Shiodome Disney MovieNEX Princess Illumination 2018
・Time: November 15, 2018 - February 14, 2019, 17:00- 23:00
*The whole hall will be closed on January 1 and 2, 2019, and will start lighting from 18:00 after January 3, 2019.
・Location: 1-8-2 B2, Higashi Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
・Transportation: Shiodome Station on the Tokyo Metropolitan Subway Oedo Line.
Shibuya: Ao no Dokutsu - Blue Cave Shibuya Illumination 2018
Inaugurated in 2016 along the Meguro River, this event has since moved to the Yoyogi Park area. It's massively popular with the public, even spawning a sister exhibition in Sapporo. With a total length of 800 meters, about 600,000 lights are wrapped along tree branches, presenting a river-like view such that every visitor is placed in the blue tide of light and shadow. It is one of Tokyo's more charming and Instagrammable activities in winter.
Ao no Dokutsu - Blue Cave Shibuya Illumination 2018
・Time: November 30, 2018 to December 31, 2018, 17:00 to 22:00
Yoyogi Park | November 30, 2018 - December 31, 2018
Shibuya Park Street Side | November 30, 2018 - January 16, 2019
* The final day is from December 31, 2018 to 05:00 on the next morning.
・Location: Shibuya Park Street to Yoyogi Park.
・Access: JR, Tokyo Metro, Keio Inokashira Line, Tokyu Station, Shibuya Station / JR Harajuku Station. Tokyo Metro "Meijingumae Station", "Yoyogi-koen Station", and Odakyu Line "Yoyogi Hachiman Station".
Tokyo Skytree: Flowers and light intertwined with white, dark nights of colorful Christmas
Tokyo Skytree will host a series of special Christmas events from November 8 to December 25, 2018. With the theme of "Dream Christmas", a "floral" Christmas tree of around 8 meters in height is the key visual set at the Sky Arena on the fourth floor. The surrounding gardens are decorated with flowers and a variety of dazzling lights. During the day, the colorful flowers bloom, and the night is gorgeous and dazzling. Under the hues of 520,000 bulbs, you can enjoy the Skylight Tower Christmas event and live music with your family, friends - or that special someone in your life. The Christmas market, with its festive atmosphere, is also held during the event, and you can enjoy the holiday air and even a splash of wine for a night of fun.
Tokyo Skytree 2018
・Time: November 8, 2018 - December 25, 2018, 16:00 - 24:00
・Location: Tokyo Skytree Town
・Transportation: Tobu Skytree Line "Tokyo Skytree Station" or the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, the Toei Asakusa Line, and the Keisei Line to the "Oshiage Station" are within walking distance.
Tokyo Dome 2018: Edo Kiriko, the beauty of Japan
Since the opening of the illuminations at Tokyo Dome in 2005, each year comes to see even more dazzling displays connected in some way to traditional Japan. This year's theme, "Edo elegance - Japanese beauty," is no different; 2018 will see the venue divided into four major areas, including aspects of festivals and traditional crafts: "Temari", a giant dome illumination moving in time to music; "Mangekyo", a dazzling illuminated corridor which becomes a kaleidoscope of color; "Origami", simulating Origami cranes and balloons using light - and more, all full of surprises waiting for you to come and experience!
TOKYO DOME CITY WINTER LIGHTS GARDEN
・Time: November 7, 2018 - February 17, 2019 16:00 - 24:00
・Location: 1-3-61, Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
・Transportation: JR Chuo Main Line, Suidobashi" Station
Omotesando Hills 2018: Urban aurora during the winter season
Omotesando Hills and the Omotesando area have been combining Christmas decorations with designers since 2017. This year's illumination event sees the creative team "KEIKO+MANABU" sculpt a unique lightscape under the theme of "Aurora emerging in the city". In it, a "curtain" of 6,000 crystal clear rippled beams undulate around the facility's interior, like an evening glow caught in a spell.
Plus, you'll want to snap a selfie in front of the dazzling illuminated Christmas tree placed in the center of the experience. Everything is accompanied by music, and as you move around this masterpiece of light and shadow, you'll find that each angle has a different charm. It is the visual poetry of the snowy season. This winter, come feel the unique artistic Christmas of Omotesando!
OMOTESANDO HILLS CHRISTMAS 2018
・Time: November 7, 2018 to December 25, 2018, 11:00 - 23:00
・Location: 4-12-10, Shrine, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
・Access: JR Yamanote Line, Harajuku Station, Omotesando Exit, 7-minute walk. 2 minutes walk from Exit A2 of Omotesando Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Chiyoda Line, and Hanzomon Line. 3 min. walk from Exit 5 of the Chiyoda Line Meiji Jingumae Station.
Marunouchi 2018: Tokyo's traditional holiday lights
The area right around Tokyo Station - including Yurakucho, Otemachi and Nihonbashi - is set aglow each winter season, with the 200+ trees in the area covered with around 1 million champagne gold LED lights which sparkle from November through Christmas to Valentine's Day.
While beautiful, there is also a green side to the display: the popular Marunouchi area, which led the use of 680,000 energy-saving lighting fixtures this year, draws from green energy facilities such as solar or wind power, creating a romantic city - while also paying attention to environmental impact.
Marunouchi Illumination 2018
・Time: November 8, 2018 to February 17, 2019 (scheduled) 17:30 - 23:00
* December 17:00 - 24:00, Otemachi-cho, November 15th (scheduled)
・Location: Marunouchi-ku, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, around Tokyo Station, Otemachi-cho
・Transportation: Take the Tokyo Metro to Tokyo Station.
Yokohama Bay Quarter 2018: Enjoying a Nordic Christmas Village with a night view of Yokohama Bay!
The Yokohama Bay Quarter will turn up the glitter this year with its 8m tall tree, adorned with some with 15,000 champagne lights. Under the Christmas tree, a Santa Claus Village is decorated with lovely European style architecture. On the day of the lighting ceremony on November 3, there will be many more activities such as workshops and music performances.
Yokohama Bay Quarter
・Time: November 3, 2018 to December 25, 2018, 16:30 to 24:00 (The lighting time will change on the first day)
・Location: 1-10 Kinkocho, Kanagawa, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 221-0056
・Transportation: Yokohama Station is 3 minutes on foot from Kitaguchi Exit and 9 minutes on foot from Shin Takashima Station.
Yomiuriland 2018: 6 Million glittering gems
The "Yomiuri Paradise" in Kanagawa is the largest and earliest lighting event in Kanto. From October 11, 2018 to February 17, 2019, a series of romantic stories will be launched. Designed by senior lighting designer Ishii Shogo, the park is divided into 8 areas. In addition to various amusement facilities, there are also activities such as ice skating and skiing in the park. The new 25-meter-high, one-of-a-kind illumination with the image of the most famous mountain in the Alps, the Matterhorn, is one of the highlights that cannot be missed.
・Time: October 11, 2018 to February 17, 2019 16:00 to 20:30
* Lights from December 15 to December 25 until 21:00
* Closed Day: January 15-17, 2019, January 21-24, 2019
・Location: 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo 206-8725
・Access: From Shinjuku Station, take the Keio Line to Keiyo Yomiuriland Station or the Odakyu Line to Yomiuriland-mae Station.
- Admission ticket: Adults 1400 yen, middle and high school students 600 yen, children 300 yen. (excluding rides)
- Night vouchers: Adults 2400 yen, high school students and below, 1600 yen. (Admission ticket + rides unlimited ride)
* For night vouchers, park entry is allowed after 16:00.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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