15 Winter Illuminations in Japan: Tokyo, Hokkaido, and More

15 Best Winter Illuminations in Japan You Have to See IRL

The dreamiest places to be this wintertime.

The anticipated frosty season is just around the corner, but the winter illuminations in Japan are already lighting up the cities almost in full swing. Before we go any further, let’s delve a bit into the history of these seasonal illuminations loved by many, shall we?

It all started with Kobe Luminarie being the annual light celebration for the city of Kobe. The festival is a tribute to the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake that hit Kobe in 1995. Gathering millions of crowds every year, Kobe Luminarie has been running for over 20 years, making it one of the oldest winter illuminations in Japan!

More and more winter illuminations have been set across the country since then. These light festivals are especially worth checking, thanks to their long-running period, free entries (mostly), and accessibility via public transportation. So, brace yourself as we bring to light Japan’s must-visit winter illuminations that’ll leave you awe-struck!

Also read: 14 Fairytale Christmas Towns & Villages Around the World

Dazzling winter illuminations around Japan

Winter illuminations in Tokyo Prefecture

1. Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination

Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination is another grand illumination in Tokyo that should be at the top of your list! If you didn’t know yet, Tokyo Dome City is a vast entertainment hub encompassing a famous baseball stadium, an amusement park, restaurants, hotels, and more.  

The complex comes alive every winter with a bespectacled illumination with a distinctive theme. This year’s theme is LOL Illumination, which manifests glowing nights filled with laughter. The event features colourful smiley-shaped illuminations with various expressions, a giant half-moon that lets you become your own shadow puppets, and other glimmering displays that will brighten your night!

Address: 1 Chome-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 112-0004

Event period: Ongoing until 29 February 2024

Also read: 10 Affordable Airbnbs in Tokyo for Budget Travellers

2. Marunouchi Illumination

Marunouchi Illumination in Tokyo is one of the prefecture’s longest-running winter illuminations that promises nothing short of fun and excitement. With over 1.2 million LED lights glimmering along the 1.2km Marunouchi Street this year, the place will continue to soak in the warm lights until mid-February. 

To make everything more memorable, Gyoko-Dori Avenue will also be set to glow from 28 Nov to 25 Dec 2023! This avenue connects the Marunouchi Central Gate of Tokyo Station to the Imperial Palace’s Outer Garden.

Psst — don’t miss out on their special highlight: Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2023 Disney DREAMS & WISHES. It is featuring Frozen and Beauty and the Beast-themed magical illuminations that’ll light up your winter like no other.

Address: Marunouchi Naka-dori, Around 2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Event period: Ongoing until 18 Feb 2024

Also read: 10 Family-Friendly Airbnb Apartments in Tokyo

3. Roppongi Hills Christmas Illumination

Nothing’s quite like the spectacular Roppongi Hills Illumination that can be seen from three iconic destinations. First off, the blue and white lights dressing the trees along Keyakizaka Street. From a distance, the Tokyo Tower, bathed in a golden hue, is easily visible, creating an excellent photo-op for visitors. 

The other two locations would be the Roku Roku Plaza, with its almost 30-foot-tall Christmas tree and the captivating Mohri Garden, with its romantic illumination that looks like something out of a fairytale. That said, be sure to check out all of the Roppongi Christmas lights with your loved ones this cold season! 


  • Keyakizaka, 4F Grand Hyatt Tokyo, 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan: Ongoing until 25 Dec 2023
  • Roku Roku Plaza, 6-chōme-10-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan: Ongoing until 25 Dec 2023
  • Mohri Garden, 6-chōme-10-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-6108, Japan: Ongoing until  25 Dec 2023

4. Yomiuriland Jewellumination

Held annually at Tokyo’s largest amusement park is Yomiuriland Jewellumination, produced by a leading lighting designer, Mikiko Ishii. This winter illumination is the biggest in the Kanto region, and now, it’s back with the theme: Light is Love.

Expect more than 6.5 million colourful LED lights to kindle all the thrilling rides and attractions at Yomiuriland. Another anticipated highlight is the spectacular fountain shows that’ll immediately transport you to a fantasy world (not literally). Talk about one of the must-see illuminations in Tokyo you shouldn’t be sleeping on!

Address: 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo 206-8725, Japan

Event period: Ongoing until 7 Apr 2024

Also read: 15 Best Japan Theme Parks and Amusement Parks for a Fun Time

5. Yebisu Garden Place Illumination

Another Tokyo winter illumination that deserves your attention is the Yebisu Garden Place Illumination in Shibuya. Offering a romantic atmosphere through its elegant installations, couples, among many others, would definitely enjoy strolling around the magnificent views. 

This year, the hotspot features a gorgeous Baccarat-crystal chandelier comprising approximately 8,500 pieces of crystal and 250 lights. Apart from that, a giant Christmas tree (at the Clock Square) decorated with over 300 ornaments is another installation you must check out! A great example of a stunning illumination in Tokyo that never disappoints. 

Address: 4 Chome-20-3 Ebisu, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-6003, Japan

Event period: Ongoing until 8 Jan 2024

6. Tokyo Mega Illumi

It feels weird to talk about the top winter illuminations in Tokyo without mentioning Tokyo Mega Illumi. Yup, they are back with more colourful illuminations and living horses this year! The main highlights would be: the stunning Rainbow Fountain Bathed in Light; the mystical Aurora Forest; and the whimsical rose garden, paddy fields, and bamboo forest that’ll take your breath away. 

Psst: Don’t miss the chance to greet and pet the cute ponies and horses, given that this event takes place at a racecourse! All the more reasons to add this winter illumination in Tokyo to your bucket list this instant.

Address: 2 Chome-1-2 Katsushima, 品川区 Shinagawa City, Tokyo 140-0012, Japan

Event period: Ongoing until 8 Jan 2024

7. Tokyo Midtown Christmas Winter Illumination

For those looking to enjoy the best view of Christmas lights in Japan, Tokyo Midtown Christmas Illumination will do you wonders! Tokyo Midtown in Minato Ward is an urban complex with sprawling green spaces and distinct buildings. Every year, the complex hosts an enchanting midtown winter illumination, and this year’s theme goes by the concept of BE ENCHANTED….

Guests should look forward to seeing a whimsical Christmas light decoration featuring a beautiful piano arrangement, sustainable party popper-inspired trees, and a promenade filled with golden lights throughout the event.

Address:  9-chōme-7-1 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan

Event period: Ongoing until 25 Dec 2023

Also read: Off the Beaten Path in Tokyo: 16 Best Things to Do That Are Under the Tourist Radar

Winter illumination in Tochigi Prefecture

8. Ashikaga Flower Park Illumination

What better way to spend your winter nights than going to Ashikaga Flower Park Illumination in Tochigi Prefecture? Ranked first in the country’s most popular winter illumination list, the event returns with over five million illuminations decorating the 100,000-square-metre park. 

Many would agree that this is the best place to witness the magical collaboration between lights and flowers. If you’re planning on visiting, don’t miss out on their dreamy Christmas Fantasy light installation (late Nov – late Dec 2023) and Light & Winter Peony Blooming show (1 Jan – 14 Feb 2024).

Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi 329-4216, Japan

Event period: Ongoing until 14 Feb 2024

Winter illumination in Mie Prefecture

9. Nabana no Sato Illumination

Nabana no Sato Illumination is among the top winter illuminations in Japan that go real big in the frosty season. If you’re looking for a Nagoya winter illumination, this dazzling event is the nearest one you’ll get. It’s best to take a day trip from Nagoya to witness this glorious light fest. 

The illumination occurs in Nabana no Sato, a plant nursery in Mie Prefecture dedicated to everything flowers and famous for its onsen (hot spring baths). Featuring over eight million LED lights this year, some of the prettiest illuminations you should check out include The Golden Pyramid and the famous Tunnel of Lights. Psst — this event will last until late spring next year, so worry not if you can’t come during winter!

Address:  Japan, 〒511-1144 Mie, Kuwana, Nagashimacho Komae, 漆畑270

Event period: Ongoing until 2 Jun 2024

Also read: 12 Hot Spring Towns in Japan to Relax & Unwind on Vacation

Winter illumination in Kobe Prefecture

10.  Kobe Luminarie

The winter illumination that started it all — Kobe Luminarie will be back in its 29th year beginning January 2024 as a symbol of hope to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Going with the theme Kobe, Shining Light for the Future, one of the must-see installations is the gorgeous Cassa Armonica: a lit-up cathedral that serves as a musical stage in Kobe East Park (Higashi Yuenchi). 

Apart from that, keep your eyes on the huge Rosone luminaire that looks like a colourful snowflake. You’ll find this one in the Kitano-cho district. Meanwhile, The Galleria is also something you shouldn’t miss out on! It’s a 70-metre-long light corridor in Meriken Park that’ll leave you astonished. 


  • Kobe East Park, 6 Chome-4 Kanocho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0001, Japan
  • Kitano-cho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0002, Japan
  • Meriken Park, 2 Hatobachō, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0042, Japan

Event period: 19 Jan – 28 Jan 2024

Winter illumination in Hokkaido Prefecture

11. Sapporo White Illumination

Sapporo White Illumination is easily one of the prettiest illuminations in Japan during winter. This traditional winter illumination is annually held in Sapporo, Hokkaido, featuring the best collaboration of snow and lights. 

The large-scale light-ups involve approximately 730,000 LED lights gracing the city coated in snow with spectacular glows. From open-air tunnels with crystal white lights to giant domes in blue luminescence, you’re in for Sapporo’s most outstanding light event! P.S. — The amazing illuminations can be seen from various locations across the city.

Locations and event periods: 

  • Odori Site: Ongoing until 25 Dec 2023
  • German Christmas Market in Sapporo: Ongoing until 25 Dec 2023
  • Ekimae Street Site: Ongoing until 11 Feb 2024
  • Minami Ichijo Site: Ongoing until 14 Mar 2024
  • Sapporo Kita Sanjo Plaza: Ongoing until 14 Mar 2024
  • JR Sapporo Station South Exit Plaza: Ongoing until 14 Mar 2024

Also read: 11 Things to Do in Hokkaido to Experience Winter

Winter illumination in Miyagi Prefecture

12. Sendai Pageant of Starlight

If you happen to be in Sendai or nearby, it’s best to battle the bitter cold by visiting the heavenly Sendai Pageant of Starlight. This winter illumination takes place every December on Jozenji-dori Street, just a 20-minute walk from Sendai Station. This is the time to feel like the main character of your own story as you stroll under the towering zelkova trees blanketed with over 600,000 golden lights. That, plus the timely snowfall – perfection!

Address: Jozenji Street 4 Chome-11 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi-ken, Japan

Event period: 8 Dec – 25 Dec 2023

Winter illuminations in Kanagawa Prefecture

13. Sagamiko Illumillion

Any fans of Doraemon here? Sagamiko Illumillion (or Sagamiko Illumination) has something magical just for you! Being the biggest winter illumination in the Kanto region, this light festivity is back in the game, featuring Doraemon-themed illumination on a large scale. 

A giant Doraemon balloon floating with a take-copter on his head and a dynamic illumination show of Doraemon and friends with music and light are some fun installations you can find here! FYI, this event can be enjoyed until early May next year. Talk about one of the long-running winter illuminations in Japan that let you live your childhood dream.

Address: 1634 Wakayanagi, Midori Ward, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0175, Japan

Event period: Ongoing until 12 May 2024

Also read: 10 Must-Visit Museums in Japan for Anime and Manga Fans

14. Enoshima Illumination: The Jewel of Shonan

Enoshima Illumination, which runs on an island off the coast of Shonan, is just as worthy and spectacular as its Sagamiko counterpart. The winter illumination, named Jewel of Shonan, has run annually since 1999. Here is where you get to witness the 160-metre-tall Enoshima Sea Candle observation tower and Samuel Cocking Garden glow in majestical sight. 

Along with these, you’ll also be mesmerised by the brilliance of the Shonan Chandelier Area, which is set to glimmer with over 70,000 Swarovski crystal beads! Hands down one of the most beautiful winter illuminations in Japan no sight can resist.

Address: 2 Chome-3-28 Enoshima, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 251-0036, Japan

Event period: Ongoing until 29 Feb 2024

Winter illumination in Shizuoka Prefecture

15. Toki no Sumika Illumination

Another sight to behold among the many winter illuminations in Japan is Toki no Sumika Illumination in Gotemba. This light festivity takes place at the Gotemba Kogen Resort annually and is now in its 19th year of illuminating the city’s winter season. Some of the famous installations to look forward to include the 5.5 million LED light displays that cover the most-loved tunnel of light, the illuminated forest, and the colourful fountain light show!

Address: 719 Koyama, Gotemba, Shizuoka 412-0033, Japan

Event period: Ongoing until 10 March 2024

Also read: 12 Traditional Airbnbs in Japan for a Unique Travel Experience

So, have you found the best winter illumination in Japan yet? If you have, it’s time to pack your winter jacket and be prepared to immerse yourself in the most blinding wonderland this cold season!

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About Author

Izzati Haron
Izzati Haron

Izzati is an author to two poem anthologies, a slam poet wannabe, and a full-time nanny to her kitties. She loves dreaming about traveling the world just like most protagonists in the movies, but more often than not, her bank account only permits her to travel to her backyard.