10 Best Winter Illuminations in Tokyo | 2021/2022

Japan celebrates winter like how it celebrates its three other seasons: like a champ. Sure, the night might arrive faster, but that’s the perfect excuse for a metropolis like Tokyo to wrap millions of colorful, high-jolt LEDs around the trees to chase away the dark. These are otherwise known as winter illuminations.

Altogether, you’ll find the city’s busiest streets transformed into something of a frosty wonderland. There might not be snow or authentic European-style Christmas markets, but what it lacks, Tokyo makes up with its state-of-the-art light displays (some say they outshine the gloom of last year’s pandemic). 

Illuminations typically span between November to December, but they can run as long as February. Here, we’ve highlighted Tokyo’s best winter illuminations — perfect for a romantic stroll or fun meetups with friends. 

Events are subject to change. Please be sure to check websites in case of event cancelations.

Roppongi Keiyazaki-dori Illumination
Image courtesy of Roppongi Hills

Keiyazaki Illumination at Roppongi Hills

Almost all of Tokyo’s opulent, upmarket districts will be competing for the chicest winter illuminations. Safe to say, the city’s largest redevelopment, Roppongi Hills, isn’t messing around too. Stretching over 400 meters along Keiyakizaka Street (and near the shopping center), you’ll find all of the trees breathing into life with shimmering silver-blue lights. Also welcoming is the beautiful scenery of Tokyo Tower. If you stand from the pedestrian bridge, you’ll be in the perfect spot to swallow the whole view of the landmark, plus a four-meter tall Christmas tree adorned with horse-shaped ornaments

When: Until Dec 25 | 5pm-11pm
Admission: Free
Where: Keiyazaki-dori, 6-12 Roppongi, Minato-ku
www.roppongihills.com/en

tokyo midtown illumination snow light globe
Image courtesy of Tokyo Midtown

Tokyo Midtown Christmas 2021

There’s a running theme in Tokyo’s Midtown vibrant illuminations: digitally controlled LEDs, space-like decoration and creative buildups to Christmas. This year, the venue returns with a three-meter tall snow globe and 150 golden-lit trees surrounding the walkway. Still, the highlight of this year is a mysterious Christmas tree erected in the Midtown Garden. Small, numbered gift boxes are added each day to help passersby count down the days left before Santa comes. 

Head to the area before December 12 to watch a special hourly soap bubble installation; white smoke-filled bubbles float around the space as if you’re being inside the snow globe. Better yet, visit their outdoor skating rink for a full-fledged holiday agenda. 

When: Nov 18–Dec 25 | 5pm–11pm
Admission: Free
Where: Tokyo Midtown 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku
tokyomidtown.com

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Omohara Christmas Illumination
Image courtesy of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

Omohara Christmas Illumination

A small “forest” deck on the top floor of Tokyu Hands Omotesando, Omohara No Mori brings a gentler side to Tokyo’s winter illumination. The rooftop terrace will be lit with 16,000 LED lights, but they are not at all blinding. In fact, festive coziness is the theme here. You can escape from the looky-loos clogging downtown and bask under the warm colors of the illuminations. Surrounded by the greenery, it will feel like you’re relaxing in a secluded cabin. Afterward, you can go inside the building to do some Christmas shopping. 

When: Nov 19–Dec 25 | 4pm–9pm
Admission: Free
Where: Tokyu Hands Omotesando Harajuku 6F, 4-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku 

Yokohama Milaight Winter Illumination
Image courtesy of Yokohama Milaight

Yokohama Milaight

One of Yokohama’s biggest winter illuminations starts from Yokohama Station and continues throughout the Minatomirai area. Using LEDs, around 1.5 kilometers worth of area will be basked in blue, gold and white. Don’t forget to take a peek at the Nippon Maru, a former Japanese sailing ship that is now permanently docked in Yokohama harbor. Befitting to the spirit of Christmas, the giant will be lit as well. 

When: Until Feb 13 | 4pm–11pm
Admission: Free
Where: Yokohama Station, 2 Takashima, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
Ymm21-illumination.jp

Hibiya Magic Time Illumination
Image courtesy of Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

Hibiya Magic Time Illumination

This year, Hibiya’s winter illumination is as magical as it can get. The colors picked for the lights are shades of dawn; every tree has a somewhat different light to create a seamless gradation effect. This is to symbolize the start of a “wonderful tomorrow.” As you soak in the stunning purple, pink and orange lights, you can stop by shops and nibble a few light bites at restaurants dotted along the road.

To get a full view of Tokyo from up high, go to the Park View Garden on the sixth floor of Tokyo Midtown Hibiya. There, a lit-up garden and serene pool of LED buds await. The Hibiya Step Plaza will also be adorned with Christmas trees. 

When: Nov 18–Feb 14 | 5pm–11pm
Admission: Free
Where: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, 1-1-2 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku
www.hibiya.tokyo-midtown.com/jp

Marunouchi Illumination
Image courtesy of Go Tokyo

Marunouchi Illumination

There’s so much more to Tokyo’s elite district than gliding bullet trains (or shinkansen) and its red-bricked station. The Marunouchi Naka-dori street is, to date, one of the classiest illumination spots. The lights are kept simple: a champagne shade as an ode to the area’s stylish disposition. Environmentally efficient LED bulbs are knotted on the trees along the 1.2-kilometer walkway. In the vivid spirit of its 20th anniversary, the Marunouchi Illuminations will expand the light displays to the newly established Tokyo Torch Park. You can marvel at the impressive sight, which is reminiscent of a whimsical dream, from the adjacent Tokyo Torch Terrace.

While most of Tokyo’s winter illuminations start around 5pm, the lights in Marunouchi will switch on from 3pm — which gives anyone more time to shop and dine under the fairy lights. 

When: Until Feb 20 | 3pm–11pm
Admission: Free
Where:
Marunouchi Naka-dori, 2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo Torch Park Harry Potter Illumination
Image courtesy of Tokyo Torch Park

Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2021

The wizarding world of Harry Potter lands on Marunouchi in partnership with Warner Bros Entertainment. During the period, you’ll find Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts-inspired Christmas decorations, including a mini tree at Marunouchi Bric Square that rekindles the story of Harry’s acceptance to Hogwarts. 

On the same venue, you’ll find Tokyo’s largest “tree” that proudly stands about 30 meters tall — although it is technically a grand illumination. Instead of thick green foliage, there hung lit-up banners of the four Hogwarts houses and 3D hologram displays. In the evening, expect an owl flying in and carrying a gift. 

When: Until Feb 20 | 3pm–11pm
Admission: Free
Where: Marunouchi Naka-dori, 2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyotorch.mec.co.jp

Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination
Image courtesy of Tokyo Dome City

Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination

Taking the main stage at Tokyo Dome City is the giant champagne-colored Christmas tree that boasts 230,000 LED lights. Surrounding the area are other equally picturesque winter illumination displays. You can start from the LaQua Garden to enter a kaleidoscope-like “milky way” tunnel and meet at the stunning Meets Port Garden.

Taking pictures at winter illuminations is tough. Most of the time, photos don’t do them justice. However, this year, the theme is all about “taking pictures,” so make sure to scour the whole area to discover hidden photo spots. Decorations are made from recycled materials and upcycled waste wood in the spirit of a “green” holiday.

When: Until Feb 28 2022 | 5pm–12am
Admission: Free
Where: Tokyo Dome City, 1-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku
www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/illumination

Yomiuri Land Jewellumination fountain show
Image courtesy of Yomiuri Land

Yomiuri Land Jewellumination

Yomiuri Land lives up to its name. With jewel as the spotlight, Tokyo’s largest amusement park is known to bring gemstone-inspired illumination events. This year, the park is divided into ten spots, each highlighting different themes. 

There’s the 25-meter jewel illumination tower and river lined with blue “sapphires”. In addition to that, you can walk under a rainbow “Diamond Passage” or take an Instagram-worthy picture of the bedazzled square in front of the Yomiuri Land Nittele Hall. Finally, be on the lookout for the fountain show, where you can expect flames and lasers to be synchronized with the music. 

Whn: Until Apr 3 | Until 8:30pm
Admission: Adults ¥1,800 | Junior high and high school students ¥1,500 | Primary school students and younger ¥1,000
Where: Yomiuri Land, 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi-shi
www.yomiuriland.com/jewellumination

Tokyo Mega Illumination
Image courtesy of Tokyo Mega Illumi

Tokyo Mega Illumination

Who knew a horse racing track is a perfect place for a rainbow water fountain and surreal aurora light shows? In its fourth year, the Tokyo City Keiba will team up with Naked Big Book to transform the racecourse into a real-life fairytale world. 

You can explore the 100-meter tunnel filled with cherry blossom illuminations and soak in the luminescent blue projection of waterfalls. As you bathe in the breathtaking aurora light, you’ll eventually be led into a giant luminous tree that is more mystical than it is natural. Finally, you can take photos with real ponies and horses while taking a bite of your horseshoe churros — or see an AR-displayed 3D horse via smartphone. 

When: Nov 20–Apr 10 2022 | 4:30pm–9pm (last entry 8pm)
Admission: Adults ¥1,000 | Primary, junior high and high school students ¥500 (advanced ticket available)
Where: Tokyo City Keiba, 2-1-2 Katsushima, Shinagawa-ku
www.tokyomegaillumi.jp

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