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Christmas weekend in Tokyo
Christmas—back at it again! If you’ll be spending it in Tokyo, there are plenty of spots to see lights sparkling and bells ring ting tingling too.
Christmas illuminations: Christmas season in Japan is already upon us with myriad light-up festivals taking place all over the city. There are plenty to choose from, with some running until February 2018, and some finishing on Christmas Day (Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills)—so be sure to note the end dates. With new themes, music accompaniments and increasingly impressive displays every year, you’re sure to enjoy what the bright city streets have to offer.
Christmas markets: Consider pairing your light-up gazing with a nearby Christmas market as well. German-style favorites like mulled wine, sausages and soft pretzels will be on offer, not to mention stalls of oh-so-yuletide ornaments.
Christmas dinner: If you’re just looking for some holiday eats, we’ve got you covered on where to get a Christmas dinner (traditional or otherwise) in Tokyo.
World Christmas Festival (Dec 23-34): Yoyogi Park is hosting its fourth annual Christmas festival. There will be food and music performances, without a doubt with some sort of festive flair.
Kasukabe Hagoita Market (Dec 21-23): Take a trip to Saitama for a spot of traditional Japanese culture at the Kasukabe Hagoita Market (the venue is about an hour from central Tokyo). Hagoita are ornamental rackets based on an old-school (700 years old in fact) New Year’s game. The rackets are brightly decorated with famous kabuki actors, sports stars and other celebs.
Live from the Kitchen Disco (Dec 23): There’s another killer line-up for this month’s free showcase of all the best talent in Tokyo. Featuring a combination of Japanese and international bands, you can be sure of a great night of music. There’s also a great menu with Indian food, beers and more beers—what more could you want?
Michi Terrace Light-Up (Dec 24-28): Always a crowd-pleaser, Michi Terrace is back this year from Dec 24-28 and features lights shone on the facade of the Tokyo Station building. This year’s theme is “A symphony of flowers and light”. There will also be flower art around meant for instagramming. Take Tokyo Station’s North Exit for the event.
National Museum of Western Art – Free Admission Day (Dec 23): This Saturday, check out the extensive permanent collection at the Museum of Western Art in Ueno Park for free! Works includes paintings from the late medieval period through to the 20th century and modern French sculpture. Artists include Ruebens, Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock and many more.
Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks (Dec 24): See a grand fireworks show every Saturday night throughout December. The fireworks will go off between Odaiba and the Rainbow Bridge from 19:00-19:10. Makes for a good date night!
Have some last-minute Christmas shopping to do? See our guide here.
Our guide to prepay SIM cards, wifi routers, cafe wifi and other places to quickly find wifi whilst visiting Japan.