The Japanese word for Christman lights is “illumination.” While people in the U.S. like to light up their lives only around the holidays in December, Japan prefers to keep the party going throughout most of winter. There are a lot of illumination spots in Tokyo, and you might not have time to see them all, so for your convenience here is Breaker Japan’s Five Best Illumination Spots in Tokyo.
5. Ebisu, Yebisu Garden Place Winter Illumination
Yebisu Garden Place usually looks spectacular all on its own thanks to its fantastic architecture but during the winter time, it boasts one of the longest-running illumination spots in Tokyo. Over 100,000 gold color LED lights decorate the venue, but its the “Baccarat ETERNAL LIGHTS” that really steals the show. It’s the world biggest Baccarat chandelier, with over 8,000 unique and handcrafted crystal parts. The “Baccarat ETERNAL LIGHTS” runs until January 14, but the Yebisu Garden Place Winter Illumination ends on February 28.
4. Odaiba, Illumination Yakei
Odaiba is one the best entertainment districts in Tokyo. It’s also the ideal spot for dating— but even better with romantic winter lights setting the mood. DECKS will host its annual winter illumination event, Odaiba Illumination YAKEI from November to January. The event draws many late night crowds and couples thanks to 220,000 LED lights lighting up Tokyo Bay, while also offering fantastic views of the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower in the background.
3. Bunkyō, Tokyo Dome City
Tokyo Dome likes to add Edo aesthetic to its Winter illumination. This year, the popular theme parks will host “Edo elegance ～Japanese beauty,” which aims to create illumination inspired by inspired by traditional Japanese crafts and beauty. They’re calling it “sophisticated Japanese illumination,” which is saying a lot seeing as this is the same place that built a roller coaster over one the oldest and most beautiful Japanese gardens in Tokyo. The event will run until February 17.
2. Roppongi Midtown, Starlight Garden
Tokyo Midtown is one of the most popular destinations for winter lights. Practically all of Roppongi is lit up with spectacular illumination, including Midtown’s Starlight Garden. It features over 500,000 bright blue LED lights spread out on a pathway that really gives you that “winter wonderland” feeling. Unfortunately, these light must really drive up the electricity bill, because they are only displayed from November 13 to December 25.
1. Shibuya, Blue Cave
Beating even Midtown with over 600,000 blue LED lights is Shibuya’s Blue Cave. The beautiful illumination shines over streets that stretch nearly 800 meters from Shibuya Koen Dori to Yoyogi Park Keyaki Namiki. It is without a doubt the most popular and crowded illumination spot in Tokyo. In other words, it is the Instagram spot for most people in Tokyo during winter. Why is it called a cave and not a forest? Who knows. Shibuya Blue Cave runs from November 30 to December 31.