It’s finally getting cold in Tokyo and with the cold came the Christmas season! In Japan, that means イルミネーション (Illumination – aka Christmas lights). While it depends on the area you are in, in Tokyo you are able to see holiday illuminations from basically late November to the beginning of December until Christmas. There are also a few shows that are still going after that with one that continues until Valentine’s Day! Unlike home, where Christmas is dominantly a family holiday, this is a couple holiday in Japan. Very noticeably from the start of December I have seen way more couples! Illuminations are one of those things that are known couple hot spots. None the less I really wanted to go see some illuminations!
On Thursday I got to go with the Chinese guy and the Korean girl that I met when I traveled in October to see Mount Fuji. Originally we planned on going out for supper together and then going to one spot to see illumination before going home, but instead we traveled around to three different spots in the freezing cold and saw some amazing lights! Our first stop was 目黒川(Meguro River). This spot is a known couple spot in the spring for cherry blossom viewing; this is why the lights on the trees are pink! We walked along the whole river from the beginning until the end of the lights. Lucky for us it was freezing cold outside so there was almost no one there! It made for really amazing pictures.
Because the first lights we saw were so amazing we decided to go to Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi to see what I think is probably one of the light shows with the best reputation in Tokyo! Midtown is a really high end complex where a lot of really expensive foreign shops are located, when you are there you are not even in Japan. None the less, every year Toshiba makes a light show that can take your breath away! When we first saw it I even cried a little bit because it was so breathtaking. It was also great to be able to see the light show with Tokyo Tower shining brightly in the background! I have a video of a portion of it that will get uploaded eventually – in the mean time enjoy:
Seeing Tokyo Tower from Roppongi made us want to go there to see the illuminations around Tokyo Tower as well! Originally, we thought we could walk there but when we asked one of the guard type people there he laughed and thought we were crazy! It would have taken us around 40 minutes to walk there, meaning we took a three minute subway trip instead! By the time we got to Tokyo Tower we were freezing but we got to see many interesting things. We saw skimpily dressed Japanese Santa girls get out of a limo and take pictures and then saw like four more limos! I’m not sure what kind of people were in the limos but I am kind of curious about that area now! Seeing Tokyo Tower up close for the first time was a really fun time and the illumination around were so cute as well – there were mini Tokyo Towers everywhere. I can also now confirm that I like Tokyo Tower a lot more than I like the Sky Tree!