Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tokyo Travel Diaries: Winter Illuminations

It's now the month of September and I'm sure you can already hear Christmas songs and see Christmas decors in malls! Anyway, if you're planning a trip to Japan for the holidays, you should definitely include seeing the Winter Illuminations in your itinerary. These usually start in November and last until January to mid February.

We went to Tokyo last year around the first week of December so we were able to catch a lot of displays. It was my first time to see light displays as extravagant as this, so it really took my breath away. Everything was just so magical and it felt so romantic, especially since I was experiencing it with the hubby (naks!). Anyway, I'll be listing the schedules last year so you can get an idea of when it starts and ends.

November 19, 2015 to February 14, 2016 (except January 1-2)
From 17:00 to 23:00

Caretta Shiodome is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex. The theme of last year's illumination was “Canyon D’Azur” which featured approximately 250,000 LED lights! There was also a 10 minute light and music show, and then in between, you can enter the display to have your photo taken.

November 4 to December 25, 2015
17:00 to 23:00 (until 24:00 at 66 Plaza)

The "Artelligent Christmas" event held at Roppongi Hills includes illumination displays around the base of Mori Tower and along Keyakizaka Street in the back of the tower.

The best place to see the lights and also get a great view of the Tokyo Tower is from the bridge over the street by the Louis Vuitton store. Here you can see the trees changing color from a “Snow & Blue” theme to “Candle & Red” every couple of minutes.

There's also a cute Christmas Market in one of the malls!

November 12 to December 25, 2015
17:00 to 23:00

From Roppongi Hills, we just walked to Tokyo Midtown to check out the "Starlight Garden" which is a popular display located in the park behind the main tower. The display was huge and had a planet theme which was choreographed to music. It was super mesmerizing and spectacular and pictures don't really do it justice.

Sunset to 24:00 (longer on December 31)

The Decks Odaiba shopping center offers illuminations around the year, including the "Daiba Memorial Tree". Several other places on Odaiba, such as Venusfort and Diver City, offer seasonal illumination events.

Even Gundam was all lighted up, as well as the trees in front of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza.

December 1 to 25, 2015
Sunset to 21:00

The trees and shrubs lining Omotesando are decorated with LED lights along most of the street's length between Harajuku and Omotesando stations. It makes shopping and sight-seeing all the more wonderful!

And even on the way home, I was surprised to see that the Haneda Airport had their own illuminations as well!

These displays and illuminations make visiting Japan during the autumn and winter seasons super worth it! It's like lights on a whole other level I tell you! Definitely a must-see during the holidays. :)

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