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Christmas In Japan: Tokyo Drapes Itself in Lights and Tinsel

If you have a Japanese romantic partner, you probably have experienced a difficult time understanding why Christmas here is for couples, and not for family. It can be as hard to comprehend why this religious event is so highly regarded in Japan – a country that does not recognize Christmas as a public holiday and 57% of its population claim themselves as ‘religiously unaffiliated’ according to gallup poll. However, Japan can be as Christmassy as it gets and the Japanese probably celebrate Christmas for a longer period than any other country in the world.

Christmas time 1

The Christmas celebration can start as early as the beginning of November and last until the end of February. Instead of hearing Christmas carols, or smelling the sweetness of mulled wine peppered in the air, you see light bulbs everywhere. In Tokyo alone, there are around sixty illumination spots with altogether some millions of light bulbs. You can hardly miss them: if you walk by the famous Omotesando, the whole 1km lane is lined with ninety-eight trees on which strings of pearl light bulbs embrace their trunks and shine.

Christmas time 2

Other traditional spots include Roppongi Mid-Town, whose theme this year was ‘The Universe’. Look at the field of lights from the second floor of the mall. The sea of azure lights dot like stars before your eyes, vast and infinite, and you’ll find yourself getting lost in this universe for some moments.

Christmas time 4

Christmas time 3

Ebisu Garden Place is another must-see with the world’s largest chandelier as its yearly fixture. Every Christmas, the 8.4m high glass chandelier is located in front of the castle-like French restaurant and reflects thousands of tiny rainbows. Behind you are the snapshot sounds of mobile phones and posing crowds getting excited. You still don’t understand why the Japanese are so passionate about Christmas, but you find yourself sharing their thrill.



Omotesando extends from Harajuku Station to Aoyami Street.
Access 1: JR Harajuku Station
Access 2: Omotesando Subway Station, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line , Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line
Access 3: Meijijingumae Subway Station, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
Distance to airport: 15 km from Haneda Airport

Roppongi Midtown

Access 1: Direct underground connection to Roppongi Subway Station, Exit 4a (Hibiya Line, Oedo Line)
Access 2: 3 minute walk from Nogizaka Subway Station, Exit 3 (Chiyoda Line)
Distance to airport: 14 km from Haneda Airport

Ebisu Garden Place
Access 1: 5 minute walk from JR Ebisu Station, East Exit (Yamanote Line, Saikyo Line, Shonan Shinjuku Line)
Access 2: 5 minute walk from Ebisu Subway Station, Exit 1 (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Distance to airport: 14 km from Haneda Airport

Article by Eva

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