10 Best Things to do in Tokyo in December 2023

illuminations, snowman, Christmas Seasonal Events
Writer's Profile
Writer’s Profile

Luca Wirthmann is a student who was born and raised in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He will live and work in Tokyo as an intern for almost five months in order to get a better understanding of Japanese culture and develop his personality as well as business skills. In the summer of 2024 he will complete his Business Administration studies and plans to do his master’s program abroad. In his free time he’s both playing and watching sports, checking out new museums, and learning new languages.

If you are looking for a good time in Tokyo in December, then this Article is for you! If you want to explore Japanese Pop Culture, see astounding illuminations, engage with Japanese history or even see Fireworks, don’t worry, we got it all covered.

1. Winter Illuminations

Tokyo’s Winter Illuminations have always been one of the biggest highlights in December. There are multiple popular locations to enjoy watching them. Out of all of them the most popular ones are Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi Hills, Shibuya Ao no Dokutsu and Shinjuku. So if you are looking for the best place to enjoy yourself in December, those locations are definitely one of the best places to do so!

2. Tokyo Comic Con

Rog01, (CC BY -SA2.0), via Flickr

Tokyo Comic Con is a gathering of pop culture enthusiasts in the heart of Tokyo. This event brings together fans of manga, movies, anime for an unforgettable experience. Attendees can expect a vibrant display of cosplay with creative costumes that resemble their favorite characters. Beyond cosplay, the convention features a wide array of interactive exhibits, celebrity panels and sneak peeks at upcoming releases. Tokyo Comic Con serves as a bridge between fans and the creators and artists behind their beloved franchises. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of pop culture and discover the latest trends.

3. Puroland Christmas

mono, (CC BY 2.0), via Flickr

Sanrio Puroland undergoes a magical transformation during the Christmas season, becoming a place where kawaii culture and holiday fever unite. The park is adorned with adorable Christmas decorations, featuring beloved Sanrio characters like Hello Kitty, My Melody and Cinnamoroll. Special Christmas-themed shows and parades capture the hearts of visitors, spreading joy and laughter. Families can enjoy delightful performances, character meet-and-greets and festive treats.

4. Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks

Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks is an annual event that lights up the Tokyo Bay area with a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. These fireworks are not your typical fireworks show; they often have unique themes and synchronized music, creating a mesmerizing visual experience. The event serves as a symbol of hope and renewal, drawing crowds from all over Tokyo to bid farewell to the year with a bang. The vibrant explosions of color reflect on the waters of Tokyo Bay, providing a captivating spectacle that signifies new beginnings and a brighter future.

5. Christmas Market

Tokyo’s Christmas Markets are a delightful fusion of festive spirit and the city’s beautiful charm. Visitors can expect a complete reproduction of an authentic German event, offering seasonal treats like mulled wine, gingerbread cookies and traditional street food. The markets are the perfect place to shop for unique and handcrafted holiday gifts. Twinkling lights, decorated stalls and a cheerful atmosphere make these markets a must-visit during the holiday season. Whether you are looking for a special memento or just want to soak in the festive atmosphere, Tokyo’s Christmas- Markets have something for everyone.

6. Mutek Japan 

Mutek Japan is an event that combines art, music and technology to create a sensory experience like no other. Visitors can expect a dynamic fusion of electronic music, audiovisual performances and interactive installations that challenge the boundaries of traditional art and music. It’s a celebration of creativity and innovation, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore the cutting edge of electronic art and technology. Mutek Japan offers an opportunity for both established and emerging artists to showcase their talents!

7. Jump Festa

Jump Festa is a paradise for fans of manga and anime. It’s an annual event that brings together enthusiasts from all over Japan and beyond. Attendees can explore a bustling exhibit hall filled with merchandise, exhibits and exclusive previews of upcoming manga and anime releases. The event also features stage performances, including appearances by popular voice actors and manga artists. Fans can meet their favorite creators, collect limited-edition merchandise and immerse themselves in the vibrant world of Japanese pop culture. 

8. Sensoji Temple Hagoita-Ichi Fair

The Hagoita-Ichi Fair at Senso-Ji Temple is a cultural gem that goes back to Japan’s historical roots. The fair is a blend of traditional games, performances and delectable street food. However, the highlight is the beautifully decorated ornamental bats (hagoita) that are on display. These beautiful works of art serve as both ornaments and traditional talismans for the New Year. The fair’s lively atmosphere and historical significance provide a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in Tokyo’s cultural heritage.

9. Nishiarai Daishi Temple-End of Year Festival

nakashi, (CC-BY-SA 2.0), via Flickr

Nishiarai Daishi Temple’s end-of-year festival is a serene and spiritual experience. The temple, surrounded by a natural setting, becomes a place of tranquility and reflection as the year comes to a close. Visitors can participate in traditional rituals and observe Buddhist chants, creating a serene meditative atmosphere. The festival offers a glimpse into the spiritual side of Tokyo and provides an opportunity to start the New Year with a sense of inner peace.

Try a real early Morning Buddhist Temple Experience at Tsukiji Hogwanji!

10. Tokyo Art Tank Vol.10: The Winter Exhibition

Tokyo Art Tanks winter Exhibition is a platform for art that challenges traditional norms. Visitors can expect immersive installations that push the boundaries of artistic expression. These displays are designed to engage visitors in conversations about the future of art. The exhibition showcases Tokyo’s art scene, offering a glimpse into the city’s creative and innovative spirit.

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Mt. Fuji Day Trip Bus Tour from Tokyo
Experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji by visiting the highlights of the area on our guided sightseeing bus tour! Departing from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, you can travel comfortably to all of the best spots in the area by bus.

mount fuji chureito pagoda

Kyoto Private Full Day Walking Tour
On this full-day private tour of Kyoto, you will be able to see the highlights of Kyoto in just one day and at the same time develop a deeper understanding of both the culture of the area and Japan as a whole.

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Happy traveling!

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Every week we will introduce you to our latest content.


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