Christmas is definitely the best season to enjoy the beautiful illuminations that light up streets and cities brightly. The Christmas events and the festive illuminations have become hugely popular lately in Japan, every year the events grow and become more spectacular. Typically the decorations start to light up the streets early november and last until after Christmas, with some exceptions lasting until February. This Christmas illuminations are a popular dating spot in Japan and you’ll easily spot young couples strolling down the romantic streets.
Tokyo boasts a number of popular illumination spots that draw not only local but also travelers admiring the festive decorations and wish to take memorable pictures. Each spot comes up with unique and impressive ideas to fascinate visitors, with different themes projected by the illumination every year. As most of the popular Christmas illumination sites in Tokyo are conveniently located in the central areas or close to major stations, it is enjoyable to explore a few of them. In this article, we take you on a short tour of the best Christmas illumination spots in Tokyo in 2020-2021!
*Please note that the Christmas events in Tokyo in 2020-2021 might be cancelled or scaled down due to COVID-19
- 1. Tokyo Midtown Christmas Illumination 2020-2021
- 2. Roppongi Hills Christmas 2020
- 3. Yebisu Garden Place Illumination 2020-2021
- 4. Marunouchi Illumination 2020-2021
- 5. Jewellumination at Yomiuriland 2020
- 6. Ginza Christmas Illuminations
- 7. Decks Tokyo Beach
- 8. Shibuya Blue Cave 2020
- Shinjuku Winter Illumination 2020-2021 (cancelled)
- Caretta Shiodome 2020 (cancelled)
- Meguro River Minna no Illumination 2020 (online)
- Recommended hotels with gorgeous Christmas Illumination
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1. Tokyo Midtown Christmas Illumination 2020-2021
Tokyo Midtown is another large complex, located in the Roppongi district. It comprises hotels, offices, fancy restaurants, a range of shops, and city parks as well. The Midtown Tower is an iconic landmark and one of the tallest building in Tokyo at the height of 248.1 meters.
From mid-november 2020 to late February 2021, the Christmas lights attract crowds with a range of romantic displays and sparkling illuminations. Every year there is a different theme and this year the theme is Midtown Winter Moments. It’s centerpiece is the large Starlight Garden, a spacious lawn field covered with more than 190,000 blue LEDs and other bright decollations, creating a mystical scenery! Santa Tree is another highlight which refers to a unique Christmas tree made of little Santa ornaments, which is displayed at the first floor of Galleria. At the plaza area, take a walk at the romantic streets dressed with heartwarming light displays!
Nearest station: Roppongi Station
Dates: November 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021
2. Roppongi Hills Christmas 2020
Roppongi Hills hosts each year one of the most popular winter events in Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Christmas. During the Christmas season, the busy business districts full of skyscrapers and tall buildings, spectacularly transforms into a perfect illumination spot, famous among photographers aiming to capture the perfect Christmas spheres. Keyakizaka Street is the main street stretching about 400 meters featuring rows of illuminated trees standing along on both sides of the street. The blue and white lights decorating the trees form the perfect backdrop for the bright white and red Tokyo Tower!
In addition, one of Tokyo’s largest and oldest Christmas Markets is held here, with festive Christmas decorations, seasonal food and drinks sold at the stalls and popular live Christmas music. Roppongi Hills Christmas is one of the best places to go to experience a western style Christmas market.
Nearest station: Roppongi Station
Dates: November 13, 2020 – December 25, 2020
3. Yebisu Garden Place Illumination 2020-2021
Yebisu Garden Place is a rapidly growing commercial complex consisting of urban office buildings and a range of facilities, including restaurants, shops, residences, art museums. It is conveniently located near Ebisu station, which makes it a perfect spot for everyone to enjoy shopping after work or just to spend a relaxing time.
During the Christmas season 2020-2021, Yebisu Garden Place attracts visitors with a range of light displays and decorations featuring countless numbers of LEDs! One of the highlights is the 5m x 3m Baccarat crystal chandelier, which is claimed as one of the biggest Chandaria in the world! The chandelier is beautifully decorated with over 8,000 crystal parts and 250 lights. It also features a giant Christmas tree that is adorned with more than 10,0000 LEDs, at the center square. Don’t forget to check the Christmas market with some lovely stalls and small shops selling special seasonal products and drinks!
Nearest station: Ebisu Station
Dates: November 14, 2020 – January 11, 2021
4. Marunouchi Illumination 2020-2021
Marunouchi is the area around JR Tokyo station and the imperial palace and for years it has been one of the most famous areas for Christmas illuminations. It has hosted a luxurious Christmas illumination event for the past 18 years, attracting a large number of visitors each year. Marunouchi Nakadori Street is the main street of the area which stretches about 1.2 km with a range of boutique shops and beautiful trees standing along it. During the winter season, about 220 trees get decorated with an impressive number of 1 million white and gold LEDs, creating the classy and elegant atmosphere that perfectly matches the surroundings. In addition, switch-on ceremonies for a Christmas tree and other special events are held every year.
Nearest station: Tokyo Station
Dates: November 5, 2020 – February 14, 2021
5. Jewellumination at Yomiuriland 2020
Yomiuriland is a huge amusement park which opened in 1964 in western Tokyo. It boasts a range of attractions including exciting rides, swimming pools in summer, a large hall for sea lions shows, and many more. It winter the entire park is covered in with sparkling light displays by 6.5 million LED lights, making it the largest Christmas event in the metropolitan area. YomiuriLand Jewellumination 2020 started from October 22 2020 with the theme this year being Resonance of Gold and Birthstone. During the event, the park is divided into 12 areas and show different displays directed by Motoko Ishii, a world-famous Japanese lighting designer. The fountain show that is held every 15 min with more than 240 fountains is another highlight, creating a mystic world with colorful lights!
Nearest station: Keiō-yomiuri-land Station
Price: ¥1,500 (adult)
Dates: October 22, 2020 – early May, 2021
6. Ginza Christmas Illuminations
Ginza is one of the best shopping districts in Tokyo, with a range of high-class shops and luxurious brands. It welcomes visitors with a sophisticated atmosphere, a completely different experience of Tokyo compared to other vibrant areas such as Shibuya and Harajuku.
Countless christmas lights with bright colors, bring a festive atmosphere to area with the huge buildings and department stores. Ginza Six is one of the largest shopping complexes in Ginza, home to more than 240 brands and shops. In 2019 it started hosting the Rooftop Star Garden, a Christmas lights event which lights up the garden space located on the rooftop of the building. The garden is divided into two areas: Water Fountain area and Forest area, fascinating visitors with lights displays based on different themes.
Nearest station: Ginza Station
Dates: end of November – end of December
7. Decks Tokyo Beach
Odaiba is the man-made island situated in Tokyo Bay, known for its futuristic attractions and large range of entertaining spots and popular tourist attractions such as Fuji TV Building and Aqua City Odaiba. It is also home to large parks and refreshing nature spots which offer a perfect environment for a relaxing stroll.
Decks Tokyo Beach is a huge shopping complex with great shops, restaurants and entertaining spots. Each year they host an extraordinary illumination event called Yakei which lights up the area throughout the year. The 20 meters tall Christmas tree Odaiba Memorial Tree is dressed with sparkly, colorful LEDs with the view of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge in the background. In 2019, all the lights turned white during the Christmas season, which made it appear like a winter wonderland completely covered in snow!
Nearest station: Tokyo Teleport Station
Dates: All year round
8. Shibuya Blue Cave 2020
Originally an event that took place in nearby Nakameguro, this Blue Cave Shibuya is now one of Shibuya’s highlights during the Christmas season. As you walk through the natural arcade made up of trees brightly lit up with blue LEDs, it makes you feel like you are in a beautiful blue cave! Shibuya Blue Cave is one of the most popular Christmas illuminations in Tokyo that attracts more than 2 million visitors every year. The 800 meters street between Yoyogi park and Shibuya park is completely lined with 600,000 LEDs hung on the trees. The sole blue color of the displays is simple, but extraordinarily impressive and stunning!
Nearest station: Shibuya Station / Harajuku Station
Dates: Dates 2020 to be announced, normally late November – late December
Shinjuku Winter Illumination 2020-2021 (cancelled)
Between mid November until mid February, beautifully decorated Christmas trees and festive lights bring the cozy Christmas atmosphere to the Shinjuku Southern Terrace, a business and shopping district located south-west of Shinjuku station. There are a number of shops and restaurants lining the 350 meters peaceful promenade. Take an evening stroll along the street with trees decorated with colorful lights. It is an ideal dating spot for couples after spend a romantic day with special dishes at great restaurants as well!
Nearest station: Shinjuku Station
Dates: cancelled in 2020-2021, normally mid-November – mid-February
Caretta Shiodome 2020 (cancelled)
Caretta Shiodome is a huge shopping complex located within walking distance from Shinjuku station. It consists of more about 60 shops and some cultural facilities such as theater and museum. From the mid-November to the mid-February, it continuously draws big crowds with the popular Christmas lights event. Every year, it features popular characters from Disney movies and fascinates visitors with exciting live performances of famous (Christmas) songs! Dive into the magical world sparkling with 250,000 LEDs to experience the impressive show!
Nearest station: Shimbashi Station
Dates: 2020 cancelled, normally mid-November – mid-February
Meguro River Minna no Illumination 2020 (online)
Each year the trees lining the Meguro River between Gotanda Station and Osaki Station are illuminated by 420.000 LED lights. The Meguro River is a popular spot for Cherry Blossoming viewing in spring and the LED lights in winter resemble the beautiful cherry blossoms. The illuminated trees span a length of about 1 km on each side, so in total the festive lights can be enjoyed on a short walk of 2 km. In 2020 the Meguro River Minna no Illumination will be held online only from December 1st to December 24th. People are asked to prepare their own cherry blossom illuminations and send in a picture that will be shared online on the website and or instagram.
Nearest station: n/a
Dates: December 1, 2020 – December 24, 2020
Recommended hotels with gorgeous Christmas Illumination
The Christmas period and the corresponding illumination events, have become hugely popular in Tokyo, with new events popping up every year! The main areas of Tokyo are blanketed in romantic, decorative lighting displays. Popular (shopping) areas like Omotesando, Ginza, Nihonbashi, Shibuya and Shinjuku will be covered in thousands of festive lights, despite the large official events being cancelled Don’t let the cold winter stop you from exploring Tokyo and miss the chance to enjoy the city with the beautiful lights! Visiting the Christmas markets and admiring the Christmas lights will put you in the festive end-of-the-year-mood. The spectacular Christmas illuminations totally change the townscape and make for a fun night out. Please note that some of the events mentioned above might possibly be cancelled because of the Covid-19 this year.