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Marunouchi Naka-dori

Spectacular Seasonal Illuminations in Japan

In Japan, December is just as busy and festive as in other countries as winter as the holiday season kicks off. Several spectacular events are a must-see while in Japan during the holidays. One of these is the seasonal illuminations.

Seasonal illuminations are a glorious sight in the larger cities all across Japan. The dazzling light displays begin sometime in November and run until New Year or even until Valentine’s Day in February.Shinjuku Terrace City Illumination

Tokyo alone has several breathtaking light displays.

Roppongi Hills illumination – each year  the light display usually has a different theme.  This 2014, “Artelligent Christmas” is the chosen theme.

Shinjuku illumination – the colorful light display is spread around the Shinjuku Terrace City and more prominently on the Shinjuku Southern Terrace with dancing light shows every ten minutes.

Tokyo Dome City – aside from the glorious light displays, Tokyo Dome City has events visitors can enjoy with the adjacent amusement park offering an equally thrilling experience.

Ginza illumination – Chuo Street in Ginza is usually lined with lit Christmas trees. The “Mikimoto Jumbo Christmas Tree” is the star of the show. Many of the stores also put up their own light display, adding to the already amazing light illuminations.

Odaiba illumination – the “Daiba Memorial Tree” is the main attraction of the Odaiba illumination in Odaiba Kaihin Park. Conveniently located at the front of Decks shopping center, visitors can really feel the Christmas spirit while enjoying the beautiful light spectacle.Kobe luminaries

Other cities also have seasonal illuminations such as Kobe:

Kobe Luminarie – a light festival commemorating the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995, held every December. The lights were donated by the Italian Government and designed by Valerio Festi and Hirokazu Imaoka.

Over 200,000 hand-painted lights generated by environmentally friendly biomass light most of the major thoroughfares of Kobe which are closed to traffic during the duration of the light display. Visitors can enjoy the magnificent illuminations that are only turned on for a few hours a day for about two weeks.


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Read all about Japanese immersion learning and studying abroad. Check out our eZasshi archives for more articles!