Top 5 X-mas Illuminations in Japan

21 Nov

In Japan, Christmas isn’t a national holiday. If December 25th falls on a weekday then it’s just a normal workday in Japan.

But that said, クリスマス (X-mas) is still a big holiday in Japan. Not the biggest though…the most important holiday in Japan is 正月 (New Years).

I wrote a post before that explains a bit about Christmas in Japan…and another one that explains a bit about New Years in Japan.

To summarize though, Christmas isn’t the same in Japan as it is in Western countries.
Even though New Years is Japan’s biggest holiday, stores and streets in Japan put up X-mas decorations on November 1st (as soon as the Halloween decorations come down) and take them down on December 26th.
On December 26th in Japan, the Xmas decorations are quickly replaced with New Years decorations which stay up until around January 5th.
So Japan is decorated for the imported holiday of Christmas for fifty-six days but only about two weeks for New Years.

Basically the image of X-mas in Japan is a romantic evening for couples on クリスマス・イヴ (Christmas Eve) and a day for families with children on クリスマス (Christmas Day).

One of the popular dates spots for couples on and before X-mas Eve is to look at クリスマス・イルミネーション (X-mas lights (or, as they’re called in Japan, “Christmas illumination“)).

X-mas illumination at "Roppongi Hills" in downtown Tokyo.

There is a website that shows some of the best 「全国イルミネーション・スポット」 (Illumination Spots around Japan).

One part of that website lists 「イルミネーションおすすめスポット Best 5」 (“Top 5 Recommended Illumination Spots”).

The list is:

  • 六本木ヒルズ Artelligent Christmas 2010」 (“Roppongi Hills Artelligent Christmas 2010” in Tokyo, Japan)
  • 神戸ルミナリェ」 (“Kobe Luminarie” in Kobe, Japan)
  • 2010SENDAI光のページェント」 (“2010 Sendai Light Pageant” in Sendai, Japan)
  • 第30回さっぽろホワイトイルミネーション」 (“30th Sapporo White Illumination” in Sapporo, Japan)
  • OSAKA光のルネサンス2010」 (“Osaka Light Renaissance 2010” in Osaka, Japan)

Also, check out this post that I wrote with photos of the X-mas illumination at Tokyo Tower and in Roppongi, Tokyo.
And also this one that I wrote about Omotesando, Tokyo turning the X-mas illumination back on last year after eleven years of not decorating.

How is Christmas celebrated where you live? Are stores already decorated for X-mas? Is looking at 「クリスマス・イルミネーション」 (X-mas lights) popular?

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8 Responses to “Top 5 X-mas Illuminations in Japan”

  1. Pixakat December 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Lol, you’re right. I restarted the game to see the place I was thinking of, turns out its not Roppongi Hills, It was just a building in another area that looked kinda the same.

    But yeah, the Yamonote Train Line, thats the one I was thinking of, not the circle. Its been forever since I actually played the game last, sorry about that. lol thanks though.

    I’ve been reading some of your other articles here, they’re really good 🙂 keep up the good work 🙂

    Like

    • tokyo5 December 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

      >its not Roppongi Hills, It was just a building in another area that looked kinda the same.

      Which one, I wonder.

      >Yamonote Train Line…not the circle.

      The Yamanote Train Line does run (in both directions) in a one-hour circle through downtown Tokyo.

      >I’ve been reading some of your other articles here, they’re really good

      Thanks. Which ones did you like? Please feel free to comment on any posts.

      Like

  2. Pixakat December 6, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Wow, the streets are lit up so beautifully! All those sparkely lights make it look like a winter wonderland *w* I hope that I get a chance to visit Japan, especially during christmas and new year… but Halloween would be an interesting experience too. Good thing that all these holidays are so close to gether 😀
    A great photograph also, I think I’ve seen that exact building in Shin Megami Tensei’s Devil Survivor game, or one just like it at least ;P

    Like

    • tokyo5 December 7, 2010 at 12:54 am #

      You should visit Japan if you get a chance.
      What country are you from, by the way?

      >I think I’ve seen that exact building in Shin Megami Tensei’s Devil Survivor game

      The building in the photo on this post above is “Roppongi Hills” in Tokyo.
      I’ve never heard of that game before. Does it show photos of scenes in Tokyo?

      Like

      • Pixakat December 7, 2010 at 1:28 am #

        G’day from Australia mate 😛 A few friends of mine are thinking about getting together and visiting sometime in the next few years actually, I hope to join them.

        Devil Survivor is a RPG game for the Nintendo DS. Its graphics are all done in a japanese Anime style but all the landscapes look very realistic. The story in the game takes place in the yanamato circle (?? spelling), in Tokyo. The story takes you to most of the famous sites in the area. So you get to see some of the districts like Roppongi, Shinjuku, Akihabara and Aoyama. But there are many other places too.

        Sorry if my explanation was too long, I never can shorten what I say ^^; But thank you for replying 🙂

        Like

      • tokyo5 December 7, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

        Thanks for the explanation.

        >The story in the game takes place in the yanamato circle

        I guess you mean the “Yamanote Train Line“. In that case, I guess you didn’t see “Roppongi Hills” in the game…Roppongi isn’t on the Yamanote Line (close though).

        Like

  3. bartman905 November 22, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    I miss the Christmas (Winter) Illuminations in Tokyo – I have blogged about them for the past two years, but not this year :-(. My favorites are Caretta Shiodome, Midtown Tokyo and Tokyo Dome illuminations. What is your favorite in the Tokyo area?

    Like

    • tokyo5 November 23, 2010 at 12:44 am #

      >What is your favorite in the Tokyo area?

      My favorite? I’ve never really given it much thought before.
      I guess I’d say Odaiba or Omotesando. But the ones you mentioned are nice too.

      Like

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