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5 Superb Winter Illumination Spots in Tokyo

The winter nightscape and the magical atmosphere from glimmering lights in the big city are traditional winter features that you'll want to see and experience when you’re in Tokyo. For those who go to Tokyo in the winter, here are five illumination spots that are recommended for you.

1. Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills is a famous spot in the city during the Christmas season. Here you can witness two illumination displays in winter: the SNOW&BLUE featuring cold-colored LED lights, and the CANDLE&RED that lights up the area in red and other warm-colored LED lights. The two different illuminations created by about 1.2 million bulbs magically transform the neighborhood of Roppongi. In particular, the illumination show that is connected to smartphones is drawing a lot of attention lately. You can change the lights on the heart in the illumination display with the help of a smartphone! The illuminations here just keep getting better each year. What kind of metamorphosis do you think will Roppongi Hills go through this year?

Event period: Early November 2016 to Christmas

1. Roppongi Hills

6-10 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

2. Tokyo Skytree

The Dream Christmas event at Tokyo Skytree Town is a must-see event as it is the time when the Skytree is made to look like the world’s tallest Christmas tree or is decorated with candles for illuminations that you can only see on Christmas. The lights are switched on from mid-November until December 25th. There’s also a Christmas tree that changes color depending on the “wish” of the person pushing the button at its feet. The tree and its ornaments that light up like they’re dancing to the music, together with the candle color illumination, throw a glittering blanket over the tower area! Last year, there was a huge projection mapping that turned the wall of Tokyo Skytree Town and the lower part of the Skytree Tower into an approximately 140m-wide screen.

Event period: December 10th (Sat.) 2016 – December 25th (Sun.) 2016

2. Tokyo Skytree

1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

3. Tokyo Station Marunouchi Area

The Marunouchi Illumination that is quite close to Tokyo Station is one of the most popular illumination areas in the city. About 1.03 million LED lights deck an around 1.2km stretch along Naka-dori in Marunouchi, one of the earliest business districts in modern Japan. Champagne gold, the original color of Marunouchi, creates a gorgeous illumination that fits the vibe of the city. The environment-conscious and spectacular illumination that uses a new Eco-Illumination design, an upgrade from their usual design, since the new one uses about 480,000 LED lights.

Event period: November 10th (Thurs.) 2016 – February 19th (Sun.) 2017

3. Tokyo Station Marunouchi Area

2-2-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

4. Yebisu Garden Place

Yebisu Garden Place, located right next to JR Ebisu Station, is a spot that boasts of tremendous popularity with the younger crowd. Its Christmas illumination last year, entitled the Baccarat ETERNAL LIGHTS – Yorokobi no Katachi (The Shape of Happiness), captured the hearts of many people with the overwhelming presence and sparkle of the Baccarat chandelier, one of the world’s largest chandeliers. Coupled with the powerful Christmas tree at the Clock Plaza and the other displays that are usually set up, the nightscape created by about 100,000 lights will truly leave an indelible impression on your mind.

Event period: Early-November 2016 – Mid-January 2017

4. Yebisu Garden Place

4-20 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

5. Caretta Shiodome

Caretta Shiodome Illumination continues to amaze people with its fantastic world of blue that is created by about 270,000 LED lights and the 3D projection mapping that shows beautiful images on buildings to the sound of original music. Caretta Shiodome is a commercial complex in Shinbashi that houses restaurants, shops, theaters, and other spots. At the exhibit space on the 46th to the 47th floors, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay from about 200m above ground, free of charge. When you come here, prepare to be in awe and be moved thrice by the illumination, by the night view and by the 3D projection mapping.

Event period: Mid-November 2016 – Mid-February 2017

5. Caretta Shiodome

1-8-2 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

The busy streets of Tokyo at night transform into a truly magical place with illumination, especially during the Christmas season. The propagation of LED use and the advancements in eco-friendly technologies are causing a sharp rise in the number of gorgeous light shows in the city. With 3D projection mapping, smartphone-linked light shows, and other events, you won’t be able to take your eyes off these illuminations that get grander and better each year.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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