Get Into the Holiday Spirit with Illuminations

Kelly Wetherille

Dec. 07, 2017

Even though I am originally from a place that is colder than Tokyo, I will be the first to admit that I am not generally a fan of winter. However, there is one aspect of this time of year in Japan that I really love: winter illuminations. There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by walking under twinkling lights with a hot drink in hand.

If you’re in Odaiba, check out “VenusFort Lumina”, an illumination event that uses projection mapping on the mall’s famous domed ceiling to create a glittering image. There are several photo spots set up throughout the complex, and on weekends live organ music will also be played. It’s a unique style of illumination that is perfect for families and for those very cold or rainy days.

Of course, there are also plenty of traditional outdoor illumination events happening as well. “Roppongi Hills Artelligent Christmas” features color-changing lights on the trees lining Keyakizaka, as well as Christmas trees in 66 Plaza and the West Walk. Visitors to the Sky Deck on the roof of Mori Tower will also have the chance to look at stars and constellations using a tablet and augmented reality technology.

Omotesando Hills hired French-born designer Emmanuelle Moureaux to create a colorful display of trees large and small. Every thirty minutes the main tree is lit in changing colors, to the sound of music. The mini trees suspended overhead also move and catch the light for a beautiful and impressive display.

ARK Hills is once again host to a tall tree made of colored glass, lit from within. Other glass sculptures also fill Karajan Place, complementing the main centerpiece.

This year, wherever you happen to be in Tokyo, there’s bound to be an illumination event nearby. I look forward to seeing as many of them as I can, of course with a nice cup of cocoa to keep me warm.