Every year, Tokyo gets into the holiday spirit with a bounty of beautiful illuminations, including the brightly lit streets of the Marunouchi business district. This year, however, Marunouchi is pulling out all the stops by adding a Star Wars-themed Christmas extravaganza to its usual wintertime light display. The Star Wars festivities arrive just in time for the highly anticipated ninth Star Wars episode, 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker', which is set to hit cinemas on December 20.
The Marunouchi Bright Christmas displays as well as the limited-time Star Wars café are ongoing until December 25. To start, pick up a free souvenir 'passport' at one of the participating buildings before making your way through the area collecting Star Wars movie stamps at each designated zone. The Star Wars displays and events can be found at eight different zones in Marunouchi and they are listed on the official English website here.
Here's a sneak peek of six Star Wars Christmas displays, including where to find them.
This colourful 'Kawaii Uchu' set-up is located on the third floor of the Shin-Marunouchi Building and showcases a neon-accented Chewbacca along with R2-D2 and C-3PO. Across from it are a small selection of Star Wars limited-edition merchandise for you to browse.
Get interactive with these 'Hide and Seek' exhibits in the basement of Nijubashi Square, where the seemingly empty screens will come to life with your favourite Star Wars characters as you stand in front of or walk past them.
Stop by Marunouchi Brick Square's outdoor fountain as it has been turned into a giant snowflake water feature called 'Eternal Snow'. The space is particularly photogenic in the evening, when the entire exhibit is lit up. Take a closer look at the central snowflake and you'll spot some familiar faces.
This 'Harmony of Lights' at Marunouchi Oazo is a gorgeous glittering Christmas tree inspired by Ahch-To island, where Rey meets Luke Skywalker in 'The Last Jedi'. There's plenty of benches surrounding the tree for you sit and just soak in the festive vibes.
Say hello to R2-D2 at the 'Memorial Gifts' display – you'll find it at the front entrance of the Kokusai Building. The iconic robot is decked out in a Santa's hat and surrounded by Christmas lights as well as gifts.
The most stunning feature among all the Star Wars displays has to be the 'Rise Crystal' Christmas tree, located on the first floor of the Marunouchi Building. The modern tree is inspired by the Star Wars galaxy, with an appearance that transforms from day to night. It features a light show depicting the struggle between the 'light side' and the 'dark side', an undercurrent theme that's present across the cinematic saga.
Aside from the main Christmas displays, other events in the area include a Star Wars poster exhibition, a 'Galaxy Dome' over Marunouchi's Naka-dori street, as well as a Lego building activity (November 23-24) where you can lend a hand in building a large model of Darth Vader and R2-D2, both of which will later be displayed at the Shin-Marunouchi Building. For limited-edition Star Wars merchandise exclusive to Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2019, you can buy them at three pop-up shops as well as selected permanent stores around Marunouchi. For details on all the Star Wars holiday events, visit here.
Love to see more illuminations around Tokyo? Check out our guide to the best winter light displays. Also, there's still time to catch autumn leaves in the metropolis at these parks and nature attractions.