Keyakizaka Illumination
Photo: Minchun Chen/DreamstimeKeyakizaka Illumination

December 2021 events in Tokyo

Plan your December in Tokyo with our events calendar of the best things to do, including illuminations, Christmas markets, concerts and art exhibits

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December is when Tokyo turns all sparkly – thanks to the illumination shows, of course – while Christmas markets, ice skating rinks and other seasonal favourites also open up across the city. And the holiday cheer only gets louder as we get closer to New Year's, with a mouth-watering menu of parties, markets and other events taking place over those well-earned vacation days.

Our December highlights

  • Art
  • Tokorozawa

To celebrate its first anniversary, Kadokawa Musashino Museum is hosting a 360-degree immersive digital art exhibition from the Paris-based Danny Rose Studio. Ukiyo-e may be an ancient Japanese art, but these woodblock prints and paintings that flourished during the Edo period (1603-1867) had a significant impact on early Impressionists when first introduced in Europe – particularly France – during the 19th century...

  • Things to do
  • Shibuya

Located at the beginning (or end) of Harajuku’s famous Cat Street, Shibuya Cast celebrates its fifth winter event this year. You’ll find illuminations set up in front of the building, near benches and in other places around its garden area. Make sure to visit the beautifully lit Christmas tree outside the building. The light-up starts at 4pm daily and runs until January 30.

Don’t miss the Garage Sale on December 18 and 19 (12noon-6pm), where shops from the nearby Cat Street sell selected items at Shibuya Cast Garden...

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  • Kids
  • Kanagawa

The Fujiko F. Fujio Museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special exhibition running until June 30 2022. The works on display change every three months, with a different focus each time. The current exhibits (until January 23) include the iconic manga artist’s original drawings from Doraemon, Ninja Hattori-kun, Perman and more. There’s also a themed exhibition room that changes regularly...

  • Things to do
  • Oshiage

Demon Slayer is taking over Tokyo Skytree this autumn. At the Tembo Deck, about 350m in the air, screens on the windows will be playing six-minute clips from the anime series throughout the day, so you can watch while marvelling at the cityscape.

Head up to the Tembo Galleria where you’ll be greeted by a light-up monument of the characters, and illustrations from the anime wrapped around the 110m-long spiral corridor – there are even scenes from the blockbuster movie ‘Demon Slayer: Mugen Train’...

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  • Things to do
  • Sagamiko

The risquély named Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest will once again be pulling out all the stops for its winter illumination show. Sagamiko Illumillion claims to be using the largest number of lights in the entire Kanto region (over six million LEDs).

This year, there’s an entire area dedicated to Sailor Moon. Hop on the park’s Rainbow Chairlift and sail over colourful stripes that symbolise each character. Below the park’s Ferris wheel, you’ll spot a 4m-wide replica of the silver crystal from the series. It’s shaped like a blooming flower and can turn blue, purple and gold. If that’s not enough for you, don’t miss the Crystal Tokyo area at the very end of the park, which has numerous giant illuminated crystals that light up to the beat of the music.

You’ll find plenty more light shows taking advantage of the fountains and lush greenery of the park. You can also hop on the amusement park rides (including that Ferris wheel) at night to enjoy the sparkling forest scenery from a different angle.

  • Things to do
  • Shibuya

Shibuya Stream’s first winter illumination event features a sound-and-light show called Piece of Prism. You’ll find a number of colourful prism-shaped objects set up on the mall’s large staircase. When looking at the staircase from the front, the different pieces appear to be one large monument. The show runs every 30 minutes from 4.30pm daily.

You’ll also find plenty of prism-shaped objects hanging from the ceilings of the shopping centre’s second and third floors...

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  • Things to do
  • Odaiba

Before Odaiba shopping mall VenusFort permanently closes in spring 2022, the venue will host a number of campaigns in the lead-up to its last business day on March 27. 

Don’t miss its last illumination event, Thankful Carnival, with a number of installations set up throughout the facility. You’ll find a 7m-tall illuminated reindeer at Palette Plaza, another large elk-shaped installation at South Avenue, a Christmas bauble-shaped installation at Olive Plaza and other stunning spots with larger-than-life displays that are perfect for taking plenty of photos...

  • Museums
  • Saitama

Tobu Zoo shakes things up for winter this year with its annual illumination show at the park’s Heartful Garden. The display is synchronised to music, uses computer graphics and features about three million LEDs. Don’t miss the aurora lights in the same area.

The 8,000sqm Heartful Garden itself is decked out with lit-up installations of zoo animals along with other sparkling illuminations...

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