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Special Feature: 2023 illuminations in Minato-ku, Tokyo Including secret spots!

The number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2023 exceeded the number of visitors before the coronavirus pandemic. Spots with illuminations in Minato-ku, which illuminate the city with fantastic lights, are also bustling with domestic and foreign tourists this year. In particular, Tokyo Midtown and Keyakizaka in Roppongi, as well as Odaiba, are some of the most popular places boasting illuminations in Minato-ku. In this special feature, we will introduce some of the popular areas where large crowds gather, as well as some of the more secluded areas where where you can take your time enjoying the spectacular light displats. We invite you to enjoy the illuminations of Minato-ku, which color the winter nights, to your heart's content.

Immerse yourself in a romantic time at Tokyo Midtown

MIDTOWN CHRISTMAS 2023' will be held from November 16 to December 25 in Tokyo Midtown, which is home to many fashionable restaurants and stores. Designed around this year's concept of 'BE ENCHANTED…', the light effects that are in harmony with nature are an enchanting sight. Trees bathed in golden light welcomed visitors at the entrance to Midtown Garden. (Lighting hours: 5:04 p.m.-11:00 p.m.)

At the lawn area, you will be able to experience productions with sounds and smoke lights along with colorful illuminations. You will feel as though you have stepped into a wonderful, magical world.

In the atrium of the Galleria shopping area, you can enjoy the sparkling sight of 'some snow scenes', an installation designed to imitate drops of light spilling from crystals, with the drops of light playing the piano.

On the first floor of the plaza, which sees plenty of foot traffic, a rustic 'Sustainable Christmas Tree' was set up using pruned branches of zelkova, cherry, and gingko trees from the Midtown Garden. The light leaking through the cracks of the tree gives a senes of warmth.

The 'COACH MIDTOWN ICE RINK', an ice skating rink in collaboration with the fashion brad Coach, is located on the lawn plaza. This outdoor skating rink, which opens every year, is one of the largest in Tokyo, and is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The illuminations in Tokyo Midtown is extremely popular every year, and you may find yourself having to wait in line to see them near the end of the exhibition period. It my be best to visit as early in the season as possible. The Tokyo Midtown website provides daily visitor estimates, so be sure to check before you visit.

Be enchanted by a world of white and blue lights in Keyakizaka

Roppongi Keyakizaka-dori, which runs through the heart of Roppongi Hills, will be illiminated from November 6th to December 25th by 'Keyakizaka Illumination', a illumination depicting a 'SNOW&BLUE' world with white and blue LED lights. The illuminations in Keyakizaka, which stretch for approximately 400m from the Roppongi Keyakizaka-dori intersection, is a popular and scenic feature for many people every year. (Lighting hours: 15:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.)

The Keyakizaka illuminations attract many visitors during the season. Although any spot featuring the illuminations are picturesque, the collaboration between the illuminations and Tokyo Tower, which can be seen near the Tiffany & Co. store, is a must-see. It is one of the best photo spots in Keyakizaka, and almost everyone passing by on the street will find themselves pointing their smartphone cameras at it.

This tree-lined avanue, with fantastic glowing lights, is sure to excite you. Keyakizaka, which runs from east to west, has gentle changes in its elevation, allowing visitors to enjoy a range of different scenery.

Opened in June 2003, Roppongi Hills celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Aside from Keyakizaka, illuminations will also bathe 66 Plaza and Mouri Garden in light, and a decorated Cartier Christmas tree will be set up in the West Walk atrium. You will be able to enjoy a unique Christmas experience in Roppongi Hills.

Let your love for trees run free in Ark Hills

Roppongi is famous for the illuminations in Tokyo Midtown and Keyakizaka, but one should not forget about the illuminations in ARK Hills, a complex that spans Roppongi and Akasaka. Thus year, 'ARK HILLS CHRISTMAS 2023' will be held from November 17th to December 25th. A Christmas tree bathed in warm light was unveiled at ARK Karajan Place in the center of ARK Hills. (Lighting hours: 8:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m.)

Since 2020, ARK Hills has been displaying Christmas displays utilizing wood sourced from forest thinning under the theme "Connection with the Forest'. This year, which marks the fourth year, the concept is 'Ji~UTSUKUSHIMI~'. Created based on the keyword 'thinning', which is essential for the growth of trees, this illumination expresses love for the forest.

At workshops held during the season, children created log ornaments made using wood sourced from forest thinning in Hinohara Village, Tokyo. These ornaments are hung on the Christmas trees in ARK Hills, so be sure to check them out.

ARK Hills is a spot for illuminations that rivals other famous spots in Roppongi. Since it is not a crowded location, visitors can enjoy the illuminations leisurely. During the season, the 'Christmas Marche', which is held every Saturday, will offer sweets and items unique to the Christmas season, and stores at ARK Hills will also offer limited Christmas menus and items. Enjoy Christmas at ARK Hills while bathing in the warmth of trees.

A steam locomotive bathed in colorful light catches the eye in Shinbashi

The 'Shinbashi illumination', which lights up the symbolic steam locomotive in SL Square in front of Shinbashi Station, will be held from November 16th, 2023 to January 6th, 2024. Last year, 2022, the illumination was suspended due to the relocation of the 'Takanawa Chikutei Stone Wall', which served as a railroad trackbed when the railroad first opened, but it is finally back this year. Visitors can enjoy the illumination and the newly renovated locomotive exhibition area. (Lighting hours: 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.)

The monument, which uses 267 stones to recreate a stone wall, makes the steam locomotive bathed in light even more eye-catching.

The familiar figure of Santa Claus can also be seen sitting in the driver's cab, adding to the Christmas spirit together with the illumination.

The theme of this year's Shinbashi illumination is 'Fanntazia of Light'. Many people stopped to admire the variety of colorful lights and original sound effects. Enjoy the illumination, returning after a two-year absence, to your heart's content.

Be enchanted by a vista of lights and night views in Odaiba

At DECKS Tokyo Beach, a commercial facility in Odaiba, the illuminations around ODAIBA, an art spot, will be lit from November 15th, 2023 to Fabruary 4th, 2024. The illumination on the 3rd floor seaside terrace, which has been redesigned for the first time in three years, is very photogenic. Visitors will be able to spend time to yourself in a space with shared tables and plenty of plants. (Lighting hours: 5:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.)

Centered on the Daiba Memorial Tree, a roughly 20-meter high, 10-meter wide tree decorated with champagne gold lights, the 'Odaiba Illumination YAKEI' bathes the surrounding trees with approximately 100,000 lights, and is lit throughout the year. The illumination complements the nightscape of the city center, including Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge.

On December 23rd, there will be a collaboration event between the Daiba Memorial Tree and 'Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks 2023'. On this day, the 'Daiba Memorial Tree' will change color and move simultaneously with fireworks which are launched in time with music. Immerse yourself in a dramatic world of music, fireworks, and light.

Enjoy strolling in a space bathed in light at Shinagawa Intercity

No less impressive than Shinbashi, with its bustling crowds of businessmen, or Odaiba, busy and lively with tourists, are the illuminations in front of Shinagawa Station. The illuminations at Shinagawa Intercity, a large skyscraper complex, will be lit up from November 6th, 2023, to February 16th, 2024 in Shinagawa Central Garden, which stretches between Shinagawa Intercity and Shinagawa Grand Commons. (Lighting hours: 4:30 p.m.- 12:00 a.m.)

Shinagawa Central Garden is located roughly a 5-minute walk away from the Konan Exit of JR Shinagawa Station. This year, approximately 400,000 LED lights will illuminate the path leading from Shinagawa Station.

In the free space, people who appeared to be on their way home from work were spending their free time admiring the illuminations.

Shinagawa Central Garden is a vast pedestrian space measuring approximately 45m wide and 400m long in total. It is one of the symbols of Shinagawa Intercity, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of its opening in 1998 this year. Decorated with gold lights, Shinagawa Central Garden is surrounded by office districts, and on weekends, the streets are less crowded, allowing visitors to enjoy the garden leisurely. Why not take your time strolling around Shinagawa Central Garden?
The illumination spots in Minato-ku each had different charms of their own, displaying the unique characteristics of each area. You can enjoy the famous spots with family or coworkers, or go alone to take pictures at the more secluded spots. There are many ways you can enjoy these different spots.

For those who want to enjoy the illuminations even if they are alone, we recommend the 'Solo Illumination MAP' ( )
This map introduces illumination spots not only in Minato-ku, but also in the Tokyo area, from a slightly different perspective, including spots that match 'one person levels' and 'ladder routes'. Please check it out!

The Christmas season is finally upon us. Please dress warmly before heading outdoors.

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