Tokyo illuminations 2014-15

Discover the beauty of the wintertime city

Tokyo illuminations 2014-15

The days may be getting shorter and colder, but even so, Tokyo doesn't turn into a dark and desolate place at this less than cheery time of year. In fact, the city gets transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland as millions of colourful lights are displayed in trees, on and around buildings, and even on landmarks like Tokyo Tower. We've listed our top picks of where to admire these illuminations, which are of course best enjoyed in good company. Grab a group of friends, bring your family, or invite that special someone – Tokyo's about to show you its brightest wintery charms.

Omotesando Illumination

Until Dec 25 / Omotesando
Always one of Tokyo's most popular light-up shows, the Omotesando illumination is back with some 500,000 champagne-coloured LED lights shrouding the zelkova trees that run between the Jingumae and Omotesando crossings. Read more

Tokyo Skytree Town Dream Christmas

Nov 1-Dec 25 / Tokyo Sky Tree
The Skytree and its surrounds go into Christmas mode from the beginning of November, with the pathways connecting the tower with Tokyo Skytree and Oshiage stations again decorated with hundreds of thousands of LED lights. Read more

Tokyo Tower Christmas Illumination

Nov 3-Dec 25 / Tokyo Tower
The ever-popular Tokyo Tower illuminations do not have the massive scale but instead rely on class, the night view, well-designed light displays and an impressive Christmas tree. Read more

Tokyo Dome City Winter Illuminations

Nov 6-Feb 15 / Tokyo Dome City
Themed 'Promenade of Light', this is one of the top illumination events in Tokyo in terms of scale, boasting a total of over 2.2 million lights. Don't miss the Ultraman-themed decorations. Read more

Smart Illumination Yokohama

Until November 3 / Zou-no-Hana Terrace
Held since 2011, Yokohama's Smart Illumination show makes use of the latest in energy-efficient lighting technology to turn the city's waterfront areas into a sea of colour. Read more

Illumination With Red

Until January 13 / DiverCity Tokyo Plaza
The Diver City mall kicks off the winter season and lights up its surroundings with a whopping 400,000 silver and red LEDs. Created in cooperation with Korean idol duo Tohoshinki, the display blinks to the tunes of their new single 'Time Works Wonders'. Read more

Roppongi Hills Christmas

Nov 4-Dec 25 / Roppongi Hills
The blue and white lights around Roppongi Hills in winter are already a well-known sight for many Tokyoites. This year's illumination show also brings back the alternative red LEDs, with the scenery changing from frosty to shiningly warm a few times every hour. Read more

Midtown Christmas

Until Dec 25 / Tokyo Midtown
The Tokyo Midtown illumination is particularly famous for the 'Starlight Garden' lights that are put up around the spacious Midtown Garden area, creating a magical, wintery atmosphere with 180,000 blue LEDs. This year's feature attraction is the 'Midtown Cruise' design. Read more

Yomiuri Land Jewellumination

Until February 15 / Yomiuri Land
World-renowned lighting designer Motoko Ishii's projects include Tokyo Tower, the Rainbow Bridge and Elisabeth Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, so Yomiuri Land scored rather big when they hired her to produce the park's winter illumination show for 2014-15. Read more

LaLaPort Tokyo Bay X-mas Illumination

Nov 1-Dec 25 / Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaPort Tokyo Bay
This illumination display at LaLaport Tokyo Bay is spread out all over the massive shopping complex, and will be accompanied by various Christmas- and winter-themed events during November and December. Look out for a Pikachu appearance on November 1. Read more

Toyosu Seaside Christmas

Nov 1-Dec 25 / Urban Dock LaLaport Toyosu
The display at LaLaport Toyosu encompasses water-inspired illuminations in various areas around the building, including in and around the main entrance and courtyard. The lights here are especially eco-friendly, powered by renewable energy. Read more

Tobu Zoo Winter Illumination

Nov 1-Feb 15 / Tobu Zoo
Tobu Zoo shakes things up for winter this year, with the annual illumination show now combined with music and awkwardly dubbed 'Rhythmination'. A total of 500,000 LED lights will blink in tune to the tunes and welcome you to the equally lit-up Flower Garden. Read more

Sagamiko Illumillion

Nov 1-Apr 12 / Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest
The risquely named Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest will be lit up for the sixth year in a row, and claims to be using the largest amount of lights in the entire Kanto region (up to five million LEDs). Visitors can also use the amusement park rides (including the ferris wheel) at night. Read more

Omohara White Christmas

Nov 6-Dec 25 / Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku
Tokyu Plaza Omotesando again assumes a Christmasy character, with the sixth-floor rooftop garden featuring an illumination spectacle called 'Wishes' that centres on a fountain-shaped tree lit up with multi-coloured beams. Nice for really getting into the holiday mood. Read more

Art Projection Mapping

Nov 7-Dec 25 / Tokyo Opera City
The Opera City complex pulls out all the stops for this year's winter light-up, mounting the trees and other plants around the building with 45,000 golden LEDs and setting up a 12m tree that'll be brought to life through projection mapping techniques. Read more

Shinjuku Terrace City Illumination

Until Feb 25 / Shinjuku Southern Terrace
The theme for this years Shinjuku Terrace light-up is 'Town of Glittering Lights', with trees around the terrace area decorated with golden lights and equipped with touchable sensors that activate a special audiovisual show. This one always gets our spirits up around the holidays. Read more

Fukagawa Gatharia Christmas Illuminations

Nov 8-Feb 28 / Fukagawa Gatharia
Fukagawa's Gatharia shopping centre is decorated for the season with colourful light bands, this time themed 'Garden of Light'. The centrepiece is an 8m Christmas tree, but the around 300,000 LEDs should be more than enough to illuminate the entire surroundings. Read more

Canyon d'Azur – Caretta Illumination

Nov 13-Jan 12 / Caretta Shiodome
This Shiodome shopping complex always puts on high-tech Christmas light-ups, and this year is no exception: visitors enter through a 15m 'Corridor of Light', which leads to the Caretta Plaza's massive 'Pillars of Light' and a blindingly sparkling tree. Read more

Marunouchi Illumination

Nov 13-Feb 15 / Marunouchi Naka-dori and surroundings
Marunouchi Naka-dori, always one of the most popular illumination spots, will be lit up with hundreds of champagne-coloured, low-energy bulbs this year, making for a display that's as eco-friendly as it is stylish. The light-up will be kept on until midnight in December. Read more

Nakameguro Ao no Dokutsu

Nov 23-Dec 25 / Meguro River
Dubbed Ao no Dokutsu ('Blue Cavern'), this year's illumination show along the Meguro River engulfs the area in a mysterious glow from November 23 to Christmas Day. Thousands of blue LEDs reflect off the water's surface to create an immersive light-up experience. Read more

Tokyo Station GranRoof Illumination

Dec 1-Jan 12 / GranRoof
The GranRoof facility near Tokyo Station's Yaesu exit makes good use of its windy location for this year's winter illumination, themed 'Tokyo Colors'. Conjured up by creative group Rhizomatiks, the lights and music are designed to 'react' to weather conditions and visitor amounts. Read more

Rainbow Bridge Special Light-Up

Dec 6-Jan 4 / Rainbow Bridge
Living up to its name, Tokyo's most recognisable bridge will be lit up in all the colours of the rainbow especially for the Christmas and New Year's season. Sure adds a nice touch to the bay view, no? Read more

The Story of the Lights

Until Mar 1 / Maach Ecute Kanda Manseibashi
Kanda's beautifully renovated Manseibashi station complex turns on the winter lights for the second year in a row, adding another good reason to visit this impressive collection of classy cafés, restaurants, and boutiques. Read more

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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