Top 10 Christmas and New Year’s Illuminations in Tokyo

Tokyo, while not really a religious city in comparison to many, has some really good ‘illuminations’ and ‘light-up’ displays around Christmas and New Year’s.

What makes Tokyo so great is that all the main shopping centers, malls and department stores have entered a battle to see who can make the best illuminations. There are all vieing for customers, so each year the lights get even more and more outlandish and over the top. But for budget travelers, this offer an opportunity to see some speculator sights for totally free!

illuminations_shinjukuShinjuku Southern Terrace

Walk to the Southern Terrace outside the station to see a load of different cute installations and pretty illuminations. See many glittering trees while you do a bit of shopping, or just window shopping!

When: November 12th – December 25th

Access and Info

illuminations_skytreeTokyo Skytree

Some really nice, modern illuminations that are a little different from most. It’s also super cool to see the Skytree lit up and animating.

When: November 1st- December 25th

Access and Info

illuminations_midtownMidtown Illuminations

The ‘Starlight Garden’ lights are the ones to see if you only have time for one illumination area. Lovely synchronized animations appear all over the park and trees.

When: November 28th – December 25th

Access: Roppongi on the Hibiya and Oedo lines.

illuminations_shiodomeCaretta Illumination

Usually not the most exciting of salaryman areas, Caretta comes into it’s own in the winter. The “Canyon d’Azur” features an ocean of blue LED lights spread out over a huge area.

When: 13th November – 12th January

Access: Shiodome station on the Oedo line.

illuminations_tokyo_domeTokyo Dome

A little tacky, but in a good way. The ‘Promenade of Light’ is a great place for some nice photos ops, and there are loads of restaurants and cafes to sit down in and enjoy the lights. 2.2 million lights!

When: November 6th to February 15th

Access: Korakuen station.

illuminations_nakameguroNakameguro River Blue Cavern

The amazing ‘Blue Cavern’ illuminations sees the famous river lined with trees covered in pretty blue lights. A very stylish place to hang out in the evening as well.

When: November 23rd to December 25th

Access: Next to Nakameguro station (Hibiya line).


Ginza is the luxury shopping area, so many of the shops go to crazy lengths to light up their massive stores. Classy, but also very over the top!

When: November 15th – December 25th

Access: Just outside Ginza station on the Ginza metro line.

illuminations_maronouchiMaronouchi Illuminations

Some super posh illuminations in a super posh area. Make sure you eat before or after as this area is pricey!

When: November 13th to February 15th

Access: Easily walkable from Ginza.


One of Tokyo’s most popular spots for winter illuminations, with lots of couples and fashionable people enjoying some amazing lights. That’s some 500,000 champagne-coloured LED lights!

When: December 1st – December 25th

Access: The main street from Harajuku.


A traditional Christmas tree is lit up on the bay, so the views over the city are stunning. Many of the shopping malls on the island are also battling with their own illuminations as well!

When: November 13th – March 15th

Access and Info

Any others you like? Send us a message or comment below!

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Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict