One of the highlights of the winter season in Japan, these free festivals of light provide a welcome chance to get out in the evenings as the temperature dips and rejuvenate the spirits during the cold, dark winter months — not to mention take a few selfies. This year, once again, we see stunning, bright illuminations in all shapes and forms light up every part of Tokyo in preparation for the festive season. So whether alone, with a partner or with family and friends, we promise you that these lights will make your holiday a little more special, joyful and warm. Here are our 15 top picks for this year.
The areas around the popular shopping complex Tokyo Midtown light up each night, gathering tens of thousands of visitors and enthusiastic photographers. Though the whole complex shines brightly during the festive season, the one must-stop place is the space-inspired Starlight Garden illumination in the park behind the main tower. Some 500,000 LED lights are spread before your eyes forming the most breathtaking space lights in the heart of the city. This year, for a limited time until December 16, a special collaboration with soap bubbles lets visitors enjoy around 450,000 soap bubbles and mist daily, floating through the night’s sky. Catch them before it’s too late!
Access: Roppongi Station
Date & Time: Now through Dec 25, 2018, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Themed “Princess Illumination,” this popular winter lights display surrounding the shopping complex Caretta Shiodome, brings the story of Disney’s most beloved princesses to life this year. Whether a Disney fan or not, this is one of the most beautiful and romantic illuminations in the city, and this year especially, it calls for all couples to gather around the lights, accompanied by soundtrack tunes and other love-inspired vibes. Recommended for anyone, but if you don’t have a significant other you may feel a bit lonely.
Access: Shiodome and Shimbashi stations
Date & Time: Until Feb 14, 2019, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
This annual light-up event at the historic Yebisu Garden Place has a stylish vibe based on simplicity and class. Baccarat Eternal Lights features an 8-meter spectacular chandelier and beautifully decorated trees amongst its numerous illuminations and is, with no doubt, one the most romantic outings for mature couples.
Access: Ebisu Station
Date & Time: Until Feb 28, 2019, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Business town at daytime, as soon as dawn hits Shinjuku the area changes into a stage of multiple illumination displays that will take your breath away. This year’s concept is “Be connected!” and