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Tokyo illuminations 2016-17

Discover the beauty of the wintertime city – it's your guide to the top Tokyo light-ups

Yebisu Garden Place – always one of Tokyo's top spots for illuminations

The days may be getting shorter and colder, but even so, Tokyo doesn't turn into a dark and desolate place at this less than cheery time of year. In fact, the city transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland as millions of colourful lights are displayed in trees, on and around buildings, and even on landmarks like Tokyo Tower.

We've listed our top picks of where to admire these illuminations, which are of course best enjoyed in good company. Grab a group of friends, bring your family, or invite that special someone – Tokyo's about to show you its brightest wintery charms.

Tokyo's finest light-up shows

Odaiba VenusFort x Naked Inc

Naked Inc, known for their multifarious light-up installations, are taking over Odaiba's VenusFort for a Christmas-inspired projection mapping session. VenusFort's medieval European-inspired interior, complete with an open-domed ceiling in the atrium, means the installation invokes a somewhat fairytale-like world...

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VenusFort , Odaiba Until Saturday March 25 2017

Marunouchi Illumination

Marunouchi Naka-dori, always one of the most popular Tokyo illumination spots, will be lit up with countless champagne-coloured, low-energy bulbs this year too, making for a display that's as environmentally friendly as it is stylish. Celebrating its 15th year this year...

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Marunouchi Naka-dori , Marunouchi Until Sunday February 19 2017

Shinjuku Terrace City Illumination

As is customary, the Shinjuku Terrace illumination takes place around the Southern Terrace and the Odakyu Group-controlled area that reaches toward the West Exit. 2016's theme is 'Smile', with trees around the terrace area decorated with sakura-like pink lights...

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Shinjuku Southern Terrace , Shinjuku Until Tuesday February 14 2017

Hotel New Otani Japanese Garden Illumination

In honour of its 50th anniversary, the Hotel New Otani's Japanese garden will be lit up through the end of February. Loved by many as a veritable oasis in the middle of the city, the garden sees an illumination set to shed light (sorry) upon the beauty of nature...

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Hotel New Otani Tokyo , Kioicho Until Tuesday February 28 2017

Sagamiko Illumillion

The risquely named Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest will be again be pulling out all the stops for its winter illumination show: the Illumillion supposedly uses the largest amount of lights in the entire Kanto region (around six million LEDs). The production has once again been renewed and features a wide range of colours, accompanying music, and light constructions...

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Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest , Sagamiko Friday January 20 2017 - Sunday April 9 2017

Canyon d'Azur – Caretta Illumination

This Shiodome shopping complex always pulls out all the stops for its Christmas light-ups, and this year is no exception: for its 11th year, the Caretta Illumination will be themed on a 'forest of spirits' and feature eight pillars of light that can be activated with the ring of a bell...

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Caretta Shiodome , Shiodome Until Tuesday February 14 2017

Tokyo Dome City Winter Illuminations

Always one of the top illumination events in Tokyo in terms of scale, boasting hundreds of thousands of LEDs all around the complex, Tokyo Dome City's winter light-up drops the usual sci-fi theme for 2016 and politely celebrates 150 years of diplomatic relations between Italy and Japan...

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Tokyo Dome City , Suidobashi Until Sunday February 19 2017

Warm up over a cup of coffee

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By: Mari Hiratsuka



Hi!  If i only have 1 night and a veeery limited time to see a winter illumination and can only choose between the Marunouchi illumination versus the Tokyo Dome, which would you recommend please?  Thank you in advance!