5 places to see the Tokyo lights this winter
Famous for more than just its great food and culture, the vibrant city of Tokyo dazzles with artistic decorations and lights come year-end. Idyllic and captivating, these displays are magical to see with your family or special someone.
Here are the five best places to see the Tokyo lights this Christmas – don’t miss your chance to experience these beautiful displays up close.
1. Roppongi Hills
Located in the Roppongi district of Minato, Tokyo, Roppongi Hills is resplendent with beautifully lit trees, decorations and illumination art for all to enjoy. Head behind Roppongi Hills to find the famous 400-metre stretch of Keyakizaka, with trees lit by brilliant blue LED lights – perfect for a stroll with loved ones. If you’re keen to see stunning views of the city, head to the Sky Deck at the iconic Mori Tower, and don’t forget to check out the tower’s own lights display at its base, which features a giant Christmas tree.
Getting there: Roppongi Hills is just a 10-minute walk from Roppongi Station.
Stay nearby: Enjoy world class comfort when you stay at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, located five minutes away from Roppongi Hills. For more budget-friendly accommodation, give the APA Hotel Roppongi Ekimae a go, or try the capsule hotel experience at the Ishino Onsen Vivi capsule hotel.
Located in the bustling Harajuku district, Omotesando is a tree-lined path comprising many luxury boutiques, cafes and restaurants, and it is often referred to as the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo. During the year-end illumination, the stately Zelkova trees on both sides of the avenue are lit with thousands of LED lights, creating a dreamy, fairy-land atmosphere for all who wander along it.
Getting there: Omotesando can be reached with a short walk from Harajuku Station, Meiji-jingumae Station or Omotesando Station.
Stay nearby: The nearest hotels to Omotesando can be found in Shibuya or Minato. Don’t miss out on unparalleled city views of Japan’s most exciting district – stay at the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyo, or the stylish Tokyo Stay Aoyama Premier.
3. Tokyo Dome City
For fun with the entire family, don’t miss a stop at leisure and entertainment hub Tokyo Dome City, which consists of a baseball stadium, amusement park and spa, as well as a host of shops and restaurants. Stroll around the Dome to discover various illuminations, which include light projections, giant Christmas trees and even a light and music tunnel.
Getting there: Tokyo Dome City is a 15-minute train ride from Tokyo Station, or a slightly longer trip from Shinjuku Station.
Stay nearby: Stay right at the heart of the action at the nearby Tokyo Dome Hotel. It offers babysitting services, which makes spending some time away from the little ones a tad easier. Or treat yourself to an urban retreat like Hotel Niwa Tokyo. It promises lush greenery amidst a modern stylish setting, and is conveniently located to several dining, shopping and nightlife options.
4. Yebisu Garden Place
For a truly festive Tokyo lights experience, head to Yebisu Garden Place, which offers a view of awe-inspiring skyscrapers and museums, as well as many restaurants and shops to explore during your city lights trail. The large Christmas tree is perhaps the central attraction, but there are also fairy lights, chiming bells and festive decorations to brighten up the park. Yebisu Garden Place plays host to an annual Christmas market, where you can pick up festive arts and crafts, as well as snacks and drinks.
Getting there: Yebisu Garden Place is only a 10-minute walk from Ebisu Station.
5. Yomiuri Land
Theme park junkies will love the light-up at Yomiuri Land, an amusement park that features the work of top lighting designer Motoko Ishii. Her one-of-a-kind displays include a 27-metre-tall tower of lights. The park’s popular fountain show also gets a festive boost with more light projections and dazzling pyrotechnics at this time of the year.
Getting there: Reach Yomiuri Land via a quick ‘sky shuttle’ trip from Keio Yomiuri-Land Station.
Stay nearby: The Hotel Molino Shin-Yuri is one of the highest rated accommodations in the Kawasaki area, offering elegant décor and luxurious 5-star facilities. For a taste of local hospitality, choose Hotel Livemax Chofu Ekimaei, a charming three-star hotel that promises to delight.
Most of Tokyo’s year-end illuminations run from November through January or February, so there are endless opportunities to soak in the festivities. Be sure to book your ideal Tokyo hotel now to avoid disappointment.