Tokyo illuminations 2013-14

Discover the beauty of the wintertime city

Tokyo illuminations 2013-14

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 such as Tokyo Tower. We have listed 23 of the hottest spots 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.

Happiness Town Project

Until February 16, 2014 / Marunouchi Naka-dori
Marunouchi Naka-dori, always one of the most popular Tokyo illumination spots, will be lit up again, this time accompanied by Disney's 'Happiness Town Project'. However, the main attraction remains Marunouchi's shining main street. Read more

Omohara White Christmas

Until December 25 / Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku
Tokyu Plaza Omotesando will assume a Christmasy character from the beginning of November, with the sixth floor terrace featuring a forest-inspired illumination spectacle. Shops in the building also sell special Christmas items and party paraphernalia. Read more

Diver City Winter Illuminations

Until December 25 / DiverCity Tokyo Plaza
Diver City Tokyo Plaza kicks off the winter season and lights up its surroundings with this large-scale illumination. Whether a gigantic shopping mall can really be a romantic place is certainly debatable, but this year's theme remains 'Love'. Read more

LaLaPort Tokyo Bay X-mas Illumination

Until December 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. Look out for appearances by Funabashi's mascot character, Funasshi. Read more

Tokyo Skytree Town Illumination

Until January 31, 2014 / Tokyo Sky Tree
The pathways connecting the Sky Tree with Tokyo Sky Tree Station and Oshiage Station will be decorated with around half a million LED lights for this event, and visitors can enjoy the illuminations while sipping on some German beer or mulled wine. Read more

VenusFort Illumination: Night Venus

Until March 16, 2014 / VenusFort
Not to be outdone by the other Odaiba shopping centres, VenusFort presents this illumination event that takes its inspiration from Roman mythology and features four different installations within the mall building. Check out the faux-wintery 'snowfall event'. Read more

Shining Christmas 2013

Until December 25 / Urban Dock LaLaport Toyosu
The display at LaLaport Toyosu encompasses illuminations in various areas within the building, as well as in and around the main entrance and courtyard, which comes kitted out with a special box that when touched changes the colour of the walls. Read more

Baccarat Eternal Lights: Yorokobi no Katachi

Until January 13, 2014 / Yebisu Garden Place
The Baccarat Eternal Lights display incorporates a Baccarat chandelier that is 5m tall and 3m wide – making it one of the largest chandeliers in the world. In total, the venue makes use of approximately 100,000 LEDs, and boasts an 8m tall Christmas tree. Read more

Winter Illumination

Until January 26, 2014 / Tobu Zoo
Using seven colours and over 1.2 million LED lights, the Tobu Zoo illuminations aim to provide a romantic atmosphere, particularly with the displays that take advantage of the park's large cherry trees. Lighting in the zoo area has also been modified for the occasion. Read more

Tokyo Tower Christmas Illumination

Until December 25 / Tokyo Tower
The ever-popular Tokyo Tower illuminations do not have the massive scale of some competitors, relying instead on class and on the winning combination of the night view and well-designed light displays. Tip: Check out the red-and-gold main observatory. Read more

Roppongi Hills 10th Anniversary Christmas

Until December 25 / Roppongi Hills
The blue and white lights around Roppongi Hills in winter are already a well-known sight for many Tokyoites. The basic concept has not been changed for this year either, although there are special updates: a three-coloured light show and disco ball decorations. Read more

UDX'mas Illumination 2013

Until December 25 / Akihabara UDX
Yes, even Akihabara has illuminations. The UDX shopping centre puts up a 10-metre tree featuring an audiovisual show every 30 minutes, the trees on the west side of the building are draped in champagne-coloured lights, and the eastern area has also been decorated. Read more

Tokyo Dome City Winter Illuminations

Until February 16, 2014 / Tokyo Dome City
This is the top illumination event in Tokyo in terms of scale, boasting a total of over 2 million lights. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Tokyo Dome, the arena will be lit up in a variety of colours, and the surrounding areas will be decorated with mirror balls. Read more

Fukagawa Gatharia Christmas Illuminations

Until January 31, 2014 / Fukagawa Gatharia
The Fukagawa Gatharia shopping centre has been decorated for the holiday season with colourful light bands, this time themed 'Crystal Fantasy'. The centrepiece is an eight-metre Christmas tree, complete with moving lights and an accompanying audio show. Read more

Sagamiko Illumillion

Until April 13, 2014 / Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest
Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest will be lit up for the fifth year in a row, using the largest amount of lights in the entire Kanto region (up to four million LED lamps). The production has been renewed for this fifth anniversary occasion, and the rides stay open at night. Read more

Midtown Christmas 2013

November 14 - December 25 / Tokyo Midtown
Tokyo Midtown is particularly famous for its 'Starlight Garden' lights that are put up around the spacious Midtown Garden area, creating a magical, wintery atmosphere. This year's feature attraction is the 360-degree arch of light that envelops the garden. Read more

Caretta Illumination 2013: White Xmas in the Sea

November 15 - December 25 / Caretta Shiodome
This Shiodome shopping complex combines marine life, Christmas lights, and interactive 3D projection mapping for this year's illumination, creating the appearance of a constantly changing, mysterious underwater world at Caretta Plaza. Read more

Shinjuku Terrace City Illumination

November 13 - February 16, 2014 / Shinjuku Southern Terrace
This year's Shinjuku Terrace illumination takes place around the Southern Terrace and the area reaching towards the West Exit. The theme is 'Starfall Town', with trees around the terrace zone decorated with lights that imitate shooting stars. Read more

Daiba Memorial Tree

November 16 - March 16, 2014 / Decks Tokyo Beach
The Daiba Memorial Tree will once again take up its position in front of Decks Tokyo Beach, thereby recreating a favourite winter date spot along the Sea Side Deck, from which to enjoy a view of not only the tree itself, but also Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower. Read more

Royal Park Hotel Christmas Illumination

November 18 - December 25 / Royal Park Hotel
The Royal Park Hotel at Suitengu Station takes inspiration from Germany for its winter illumination, creating a 'Christmas street' complete with a five-metre tree, sparkling reindeer, and special light panels that imitate a German cityscape. Read more

Festive Moments

November 22 - December 25 / Hotel New Otani Tokyo
Hotel New Otani lights up the Kojimachi neighbourhood with this illumination production, including a light display that circles the entire hotel area, and three large, liberally decorated trees in front of the main entrance. A real Santa visit is apparently also on the menu. Read more

Meguro River Illumination

November 29 - December 25 / Gotanda Fureai Waterside Square
Now in its fourth year, this event has found a novel solution to the problem of energy use during the illumination season. The over 150,000 LED lights used in the display are all powered by locally generated electricity, using biodiesel generated from waste oil. Read more

Tower Milight - Minatomirai 21 Office Lightup

December 24 / Yokohama Landmark Tower
This yearly event, taking place in the Minatomirai 21 area on Christmas Eve, lights up the district's office buildings to create an impressive illumination display that can even be enjoyed from a considerable distance. See the event page for recommended viewing spots. 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.


Add your comment

Copyright © 2014 Time Out Tokyo