One of the most popular things to do during the holiday season in Japan is to see winter illumination sites. They can range from being simple displays to being extravagant and flashy. In this blog, we will show you 10 free hot spots to see winter illumination in Tokyo. We made sure to find as many places as we could that are free so you save money and experience the holiday magic at the same time.
Before you check out the hot spots, please feel free to take a look at the Japanese vocabulary words related to the topic:
Illumination – イルミネーション (irumineeshon) OR イルミネー (iruminee)
Christmas – クリスマス (kurisumasu)
Holiday – 休日 (kyuujitsu)
Decorations – 飾り (kazari)
Christmas tree – クリスマスツリー (kurisumasu tsurii)
10 Free Winter Illumination Hot Spots in Tokyo 2021
Table of Contents
1. Marunouchi Street Illumination 丸の内仲通り
Marunouchi’s street is one of the most must-see winter illumination spots in Tokyo. All of the trees lining up the entire street are dressed in sparkling lights. Along the street are high-end stores, cafes and restaurants as they give the area more of a classy atmosphere. If you’re looking for a place that’s simple but shows the warmth of the holiday season, Marunouchi Street is for you.
2. Tokyo Midtown Hibiya Illumination 東京ミッドタウン日比谷
Tokyo Midtown Hibiya is a large shopping center and outside of their building is a vast area filled with a variety of illumination displays. Tokyo Midtown is another popular place to see winter illumination in Tokyo. They have trees scattered around that are dressed in lights (similar to the trees in Marunouchi) and they have illuminated sculptures displayed.
3. Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho Illumination 東京ガーデンテラス紀尾井町
Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho has an illuminated and enchanted tree, as well as a miniature, lit-up forest in front of the building facing Hotel New Otani. Based on our personal experiences visiting the area, we find it underrated. There are very few people there, the illuminated trees offer a photogenic background, it’s located in a high-class business district and it’s free to check it out. The building has a lot of restaurants and small shops inside so there are other activities you can do while you visit the area.
4. Roppongi Keyakizaka Street Illumination 六本木けやき坂
If you’re looking for a street of illuminated trees in Tokyo with the Tokyo Tower in the background, Roppongi Keyakizaka Street has it all. Surrounding the area are many high-end stores and restaurants, which makes it a more exciting area. It’s also one of the top and well-known places to see winter illumination in Tokyo.
5. Tokyo Square Garden Illumination 東京スクエアガーデン
Tokyo Square Garden isn’t as extravagant compared to other winter illumination places in Tokyo but it does have a beautifully decorated entrance for the holidays. Bordering it are a variety of string lights and in front sits a bright Christmas tree. Trees and bushes nearby are also dressed in lights which glows up the place. Tokyo Square Garden could be a more ideal place as a background for photos with your friends and/or family members.
6. Shinagawa Season Terrace Illumination 品川シーズンテラス
Shinagawa Season Terrace is a venue hall that also has shops and restaurants. Right outside of the building, a man-made pond is bordered by colorful lights. Along the side of it are trees lined up that are dressed in lights. Yes, this winter illumination display in Tokyo is also free to visit and check out. For photographers who are looking for a place that has a multi-colored staircase that lights up, Shinagawa Season Terrace provides that.
7. Futako Tamagawa Illumination 二子玉川
Just a few-minute walk from Futako Tamagawa Station is the winter illumination. There is a cluster of trees that are decorated with lights that help illuminate the street. If you’re also looking for a place in Tokyo that has winter illumination and is placed in a shopping district, Futako Tamagawa is an ideal place for you. There is a Takashimaya department store and other malls around the area that have stores and restaurants inside. The Tamagawa River also runs by the area so if you want to view the lights sparkling on the river for a romantic evening, you may want to visit the area.
8. Caretta Shiodome Illumination カレッタ汐留
Caretta Shiodome offers a free winter illumination display that lets you feel like you’re walking in a sparkling wonderland. This is another underrated area as it’s not promoted as much compared to the winter illumination in Marunouchi or Roppongi. Surrounding the illumination is the Caretta Shiodome building which is tall enough to let visitors enjoy the cityscape of Tokyo. The building also has many restaurants and shops for entertainment.
9. Nakameguro Illumination 中目黒
Aside from Nakameguro’s beauty in the springtime with its soft, blush pink cherry blossoms, the trees, closer to winter, are dressed in bright string lights. They line up along the river which reflect off of the water, giving it more of a glowing effect. Nakameguro is yet another hot spot for winter illumination in Tokyo. Please expect the area to be crowded during peak time or closer to the holidays, especially on weekends.
10. Omotesando Street Illumination 表参道
The main street in Omotesando has a variety of stores and restaurants lined up as well as illuminated trees. It’s similar to the winter illumination in Marunouchi where the warm-colored lit-up trees line up along the road. If you don’t mind heavier traffic around the area, Omotesando may be another great place to see Christmas illuminations in Tokyo.
Smiles hopes you can enjoy the holidays this year by enjoying the winter illumination in Tokyo. There are many places to see them for free. However, if you’d like to splurge, there are, of course, numerous other winter illumination hot spots to experience. Let us know if you’ve been to the locations we mentioned above or if you have any recommended places to visit. Happy holidays from Smiles.
Source: Japan Guide