Wedy's Travel Guide to: Winter Illuminations in Tokyo, 2018
Wedy here, don’t you love the magic that winter brings? The darkness, the cold, the feeling of being all warm and fuzzy whilst creating icicles on your nose? You don’t? Maybe that’s just me reminiscing about winters back in Brooklyn, New York… Ah well.
Well, if there’s one thing I know we agree on is how beautiful winter can look, especially with all of the illuminations that are around at the moment.
Now I bet you’re wondering “where are the best illuminations in Tokyo?”. Let me share my secrets with you for Wedy’s best Tokyo Illuminations.
1. Hibiya Magic Time Illumination
Situated within a heartbeat away from Ginza are the illuminations in Hibuya. Now I don’t want to start a worldwide panic but Godzilla is here. Yes you heard me, Godzilla, and he’s in the festive spirit by being surrounded by lots of fairy lights. Who knew Godzilla would be so festive?
Hibiya square is also home to the “Starlight Tree”, which is exactly what you would want for a festive illumination; a brightly lit, 8m tall Christmas tree that changes colour whilst music is played. Beautiful.
It seems like there’s more than one monster in Hibiya, as the Grinch has taken over a large part of the square and it may come as no surprise that he’s called it “Grinch GREEN Magic Illuminations”. The Grinch has stolen the staircase of Hibiya square and turned the green! Walk to the top to see some other famous faces in his display. Now this is mainly aimed at children but if you do dare walk up the green stairs you’ll be able to see the whole of Hibiya Illuminations at its finest.
Hibiya Magic Time Illumination Information
Starlight Tree: Now until Dec. 25. Every evening from 17:00 to 24:00
“Grinch GREEN Magic Illuminations”: Now until Dec. 28
Godzilla Square & general illuminations around Hibuya: Now until to Feb. 14, 2019
Travel & Location:
１丁目-2-2 Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to https://goo.gl/maps/33ew4PNzujC2
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line/Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line – Direct link to Hibiya Station
JR Yamanote Line/Keihin-Tohoku Line – Direct link to Yurakucho Station (5-minute walk)
Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line/Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line/Tokyo Metro Ginza Line – Direct link to Ginza Station (5-minute walk)
Toei Subway Mita Line – Direct link to Hibiya Station • Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line – Direct link to Yurakucho Station (4-minute walk)
2. TOKYO DOME CITY WINTER LIGHTS GARDEN
The illuminations at Tokyo Dome are an unexpected treat. In the heart of Tokyo Dome City are a wondrous set of illuminations ready to get mulled wine flowing in your veins. The theme for the illuminations this year are "Edo Elegance ～Japanese Beauty", with the concept focusing on a fusion of traditional Japanese crafts with modern living.
Gaze at the impressive illuminations and the rollercoaster all at once here at Tokyo Dome City. There’s even a carousel here if you’re a daredevil like me, those horses move very fast!
With the illuminations being so impressive I’ll let them do the talking…
”HANABI” celebrates the summer season past with a beautiful display of fireworks and flowers.
“MANGEKYO” is a continuous kaleidoscope of lights and one not to be missed. With 140m length, it’s definitely one to walk in and gaze at intricate artwork created by the LED lights whilst wondering how on earth someone would even start an idea like that.
TOKYO DOME CITY WINTER LIGHTS GARDEN Information
Now until 17 Feb, 2019. Every evening from 16:00 to 24:00
1 Chome-3-６１ Koraku, Bunkyō, Tokyo 112-0004 https://goo.gl/maps/WSWSKhKu3gJ2
JR Chūō-Sōbu Line/ Tokyo Metro Toei Mita Line - Direct link to Suidobashi Station (5 mins walk)
Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line/ Tokyo Metro Tokyo Metro Namboku Line - Direct link to Kōrakuen Station (5 mins walk)
Toei Subway Line to Kasuga Station (5 mins walk).
3. "Fuyu no Sakura (Cherry Blossoms in Winter)"
The Meguro River is a popular tourist hotspot, especially in spring as the colour pink dominates the riverbanks from the cherry blossoms being in full bloom. In winter, the view is not too dissimilar, apart from the pink is generated from illuminations, rather than cherry blossoms.
This is the first large-scale illumination event in Tokyo that uses locally generated energy from recycled cooking oil (collected from families and restaurants), so don’t feel guilty about Japan’s large electricity bill when viewing these illuminations.
"Fuyu no Sakura (Cherry Blossoms in Winter)" Information
Now until 6 Jan, 2019. Every evening from 17:00 to 22:00
1 Chome-1-2 Ōsaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tōkyō-to 141-0032 https://goo.gl/maps/VUBjE1vYs3A2
JR Yamanote Line/ Tokyo Metro Asakusa Line/ Tokyo Metro Tokyu-Ikegami Line - Direct link to Gotanda Station (5 mins walk)
JR Yamanote Line/ Saikyo Line/ Shonan-Shinjuku Line/ Tokyo Subway Rinkai Line - Direct link to Osaki Station (6 mins walk)
4. Roppongi Hills Christmas Illumination 2018
The lights of Roppongi cannot to disregarded in a countdown to Illuminations in Tokyo. Just behind Roppongi Hills the street of Keyakizaka are lined by illuminated trees. It’s such a sight to behold. Never have I seen so many illuminations next to so many designer goods. It’s definitely something only Japan would be able to pull off. There’s also Tokyo Tower in the distance, which provides the perfect backdrop for such beautiful illuminations. The Roppongi Hills Christmas Market is also nearby, so perhaps visit the illuminations before heading over for a large sausage and a mulled wine. Sounds like the perfect evening to me, does it sound good to you?
Roppongi Hills Christmas Illumination 2018 Information
Now until 25 Dec. Every evening from 17:00 to 23:00
1 Chome−5, Roppongi, Azabujuban, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to, 106-0045 https://goo.gl/maps/M1feL1wNuBw
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line/ Tokyo Metro Oedo Line - Direct link to Roppongi Station (8 mins walk)
Tokyo Metro Namboku Line/ Tokyo Metro Line Oedo Line - Direct link to Azabujuban Station (11 mins walk)
5. Blue Cave (Ao no Dokutsu)
These illuminations are probably the most famous in all of Tokyo. Found in the Shibuya area, the Blue Cave lives up to its name as 600,000 blue LED lights decorate the trees on the avenue linking Shibuya Koen Dori Street to Yoyogi Park Keyaki Namiki.
This is an 800m cave of pure delight as you walk through what can be described as a cave of magic! This definitely feels like a winter wonderland, the winter wonderland you dream, but this one you can actually experience in Tokyo!
As you draw closer to the end of the illuminations (on Yoyogi Park side), there is a box which I’d recommend you queue for. Inside are 360 degree mirrors illuminated with blue lights, something definitely you could use for that must-have winter illumination.
Blue Cave (Ao no Dokutsu) Information
Now until 31 Dec (16 January 2019 at Shibuya Koen Dori Street). Every evening from 17:00 to 22:00
１-6 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0041
Shibuya Station (10 mins walk)
JR Yamanote Line - Direct link to Harajuku Station (13 mins)
So Wedy fans, there’s my top tips to visiting winter illuminations this winter in Tokyo. Don’t hang around though they won’t be here for long.
Are there any I’ve missed? Any you recommend? Feel free to comment below with suggestions!
So that’s all for now folks,
I’ve been Wedy Jones.
Keep it Real, Keep it Nippon.
**** Disclaimer ****
All images are taken by me.
Supporting information was gathered from the following sites: