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Christmas in Tokyo (2020) | What to see and where to buy decoration


I've always loved Christmas, but ever since I travelled to Europe for Christmas in 2018, I fell in love with the Christmas Markets, Mulled Wine, and the beautiful decorations that light up the night. In Japan, Christmas is also a beloved time of the year, and one thing they do an incredible job at is "illumination" イルミネーション, which are large scale Christmas light displays throughout town. There's also no shortage of Christmas markets either. In spite of recent events, there's still plenty to do and see, and this blog post goes through my favorite places to enjoy the Christmas spirit in Tokyo! You can bookmark this for next year's visit as well since these events and display reoccur annually in the same location. 

If you live in Tokyo, the last section will go through some physical stores that you can go to for Christmas decorations. 

Fun fact before we dive in, Japanese people actually eat KFC fried chicken and Strawberry Short cake for Christmas! And finding catering for the traditional western Christmas meal with a turkey was unexpectedly difficult. 


| Roppongi Hills O-Yane Plaza | Christmas Market

Albeit small, this Christmas market sells many precious handmade Christmas ornaments, cards, advent calendars, and other decoration. One of the key shops is Käthe Wohlfahrt. This is a world famous shop headquartered in Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria, Germany, and they are known for their ornaments, decorations, and toys which are mostly made of wood. If you already have most of your Christmas shopping done, you can also head over to the food stalls for a bite!

Event website: 




| Tokyo Midtown | Ice rink, Illumination

If you are looking for a place which has activities for the entire family, Tokyo Midtown is the place to go. They not only have beautiful Christmas light displays, there's also an interactive "step light" area for young kids, and an ice-rink which will run till late February. 

Event website: 

  


 



| Hibiya Park Christmas market |  The biggest Christmas Market in Japan

With about 30 stalls selling food, mulled wine, ornaments, Christmas decorations, toys and more, this Christmas market is the biggest in Japan. There's also live music from German Christmas carols to Japanese pop music! The stalls circle around a beautiful fountain, and in the backdrop is a 14 meter tall Christmas Pyramid brought in straight from Seifen, Germany. There are also two large tents in the middle for you to sit down in the warmth and enjoy the food!

Event website:

 

 

 

 


| Yomiuri Land Jewellumination | Large scale illumination & amusement park

This place takes Christmas to another level and just completely redefines how Christmas lights should be done. Yomiuri land is only a 30min train ride from Shinjuku station, yet this huge amusement park has 44 rides and the ticket price is 1/5 of Disneyland. In winter, 6.5million LED bulbs light up the entire park. The designs are crafted by the same lady who designed the lights for Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Bay Rainbow Bridge, so now you know why it's so spectacular. 

Heading up to the park entrance, you'll need to take a gondola, and arriving into the park, overlooking down at the lights is just absolutely breathtaking. We spent a good hour there walking through and didn't even go on any rides (due to ride age limit, most rides require a child to be 3yo and above), but we still didn't finish all 12 sections of the park. 

Aside from rides, there are also many food stalls (hot chocolate stalls too), and also an educational area for kids to explore the factory making process of different products.   

Event website: 


  

  



| Shopping for Christmas Decorations in Tokyo |

With online shopping so accessible these days, it's easy to just go on Amazon or Rakuten to buy all your Christmas decorations. But due to our move in date to our apartment being so close to Christmas, as well as shipping being extra slow this year due to the pandemic, I was forced to do some Christmas shopping the traditional way - in person in physical stores. But I'm glad I did it because I ended up finding some amazing options! 

 Franc Franc 
I first came across this brand when I was living in HK. It's a Japanese company which makes lifestyle goods such as tableware, bedding, candles and scents etc. They do sell Christmas trees of all sizes, but their ornaments are so unique! There's all kind of funky looking ones, like an octopus, Llama, or a retro pacman machine. They also have reefs and other decorative small items that would go nicely on a table. 

Franc Franc online store (Japanese only):



 Zara Home
For Christmas decorations, I'd highly recommend the Zara Home branch in Omotesando. If you are looking to host Christmas dinner, Zara Home is the perfect place to go because they have tons of options for table cloths, silverware, placemats, serving dishes, candles etc. The decorations are also more earth toned, so if that's the style you're going for, there's tons of options at Zara. 

If you'd like to see the complete product catalogue, they do have an online shop as well. But I'm not sure of how quick the shipping time is. 

ZARA Home Japan online store (English site):




If it's really really last minute and you just need a Christmas tree that comes with everything, you can try Nitori, Daiso, or ToysRUs. 

Hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas! 


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