Raina's Japan Travel Journal
by Raina, staff writer of japan-guide.com

previous post
list all posts
next post

2014/12/09 - Seasonal Illumination: Tokyo

Light up at Showa Kinen Koen near the Tachikawa entrance

With the autumn colors in most cities over, we now turn our attention to seasonal illumination. Today, I had the opportunity to check out two spots in Tokyo - Showa Kinen Koen and Nakameguro. Note that the last evening to see either illumination is on December 25.

It was a beautiful day with blue skies when I left for Showa Kinen Koen in Takachikawa, and it became very cold after the sun set. Showa Kinen Koen is a popular spot to see cherry blossoms and autumn colors, and is a place that we visit during both seasons. It was the first time for me to check the view out at night, and I was not disappointed. A word for advice for those who are planning to go, dress warmly as it gets pretty cold and may be windy, and there are few places to hide from the elements. During the illumination, only the Tachikawa entrance (about a ten-minute walk from Tachikawa Station) is open and there is an entrance fee of 410 yen. If you are in the park before the illumination, you will have to move towards the Tachikawa side as the rest of the park will be closed. There will be a fireworks show on December 23 and 24.

I arrived at the park a little before sunset, and was surprised to see a large group of photographers with their camera gear already staking their spots. The illumination started at about 17:00 and it felt a little magical seeing the lights and setting sun. All I could hear when the illumination started was the sound of shutters going off and people exclaiming how pretty it all looked. The area that is part of the illumination isn't very large and can be easily covered in about an hour. Some activities like ice skating in the small rink, riding the train covered in lights, and going into the maze require additional fees. There is a restaurant, a small cafe as well as a handful of food stands, which I expect to be very popular over the weekends.

Photographers waiting for the lights
Lady getting a picture of the illumination with her iPad
The trees changed color according to the rhythm of the music
The maze reminded me the Kusama Yayoi installation, Infinity Mirrored Room - Filled with the Brilliance of Life
Maze, tree and another christmas tree installation behind
Small fountain area that visitors can walk along
Train not just for kids, but for adults too

My next stop was Nakameguro, a five-minute train ride away from Shibuya Station. The illuminated part was just a minute's walk from the station, and both sides of a part of the Meguro River (about 500 meters) was decorated with blue lights, transforming the area into a blue grotto (ao no dokutsu), which was their theme for this year. The walls of the buildings along the illuminated part of the river were bathed in blue light, making it a very romantic spot to go on a date. I took a short stroll along the river and admired the lights before leaving. Due to massive crowds, the illumination at Nakameguro was cancelled over the weekend but has since reopened again on December 8. However, there may be further unscheduled suspensions due to crowds and bad weather, and visitors should check before going.

Lots of people even on a weekday
View from one of the bridges across Meguro River
Walkway bathed in blue

previous post
list all posts
next post

List of Posts:
2018/10/25 - Tsukiji Outer Market
2018/08/19 - Hello Kitty Shinkansen
2018/05/16 - Cruising Tokyo's waterways
2018/04/17 - Wisteria blossoms in Ashikaga Flower Park
2018/01/18 - Shinanomachi, the Backcountry of Nagano

2017/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2017
2017/10/25 - The 45th Tokyo Motor Show
2017/10/11 - Dipping into the three onsen towns of Yamanaka, Yamashiro and Katayamazu
2017/07/24 - Remote Riches in Toyama
2017/07/03 - Spiritual Chichibu
2017/05/02 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2017/04/14 - Sneak Peek from Ginza Six
2017/03/21 - A bit of everything in Fukui
2017/03/13 - Nikko Toshogu Uncovered
2017/02/15 - Subculture in Ikebukuro
2017/02/07 - Travel to the Goto Islands
2017/02/06 - Nagasaki Lantern Festival

2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/12/19 - Winter Illuminations in Tokyo
2016/10/24 - The way of old on the Kunisaki Peninsula
2016/10/11 - Following the Tadami Line in Oku Aizu
2016/08/27 - Fool's Dance at Koenji Awa Odori
2016/08/16 - The three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan
2016/06/20 - Train travel into the Ise-Shima region
2016/04/03 - Setouchi Triennale 2016
2016/03/08 - The hunt for Namahage on the Oga Peninsula
2016/03/02 - Sake Sangria
2016/02/20 - Tokyo Plum Blossom Report
2016/01/26 - Tour de Reinan: Obama, Oi and Takahama
2016/01/25 - Tour de Reinan: Tsuruga, Mihama and Wakasa

2015/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2015
2015/12/10 - 48 hours in Tokushima
2015/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Kankakei
2015/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2015/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/10 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/09 - Autumn Color Report: Koyasan
2015/11/08 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2015/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Dazaifu
2015/10/28 - The 44th Tokyo Motor Show
2015/10/21 - Hirado, where East meets West
2015/10/20 - Kujukushima Islands and Winter Illumination at Huis Ten Bosch
2015/10/19 - Navigating the Christian sites in Nagasaki
2015/10/18 - Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo
2015/10/15 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2015/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2015/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2015/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2015/09/16 - Nakanojo Biennale 2015
2015/08/19 - Traditional culture and hot springs of the Aizu Region
2015/08/17 - Nature and Hot Springs at Naruko Onsen
2015/08/04 - Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015
2015/04/30 - Sapporo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/29 - Hakodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/23 - Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/22 - Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/21 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/16 - Sendai Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/09 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/08 - Fukushima Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/06 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/02 - Nara Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/01 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/31 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/27 - Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/26 - Kumamoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/25 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

2014/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2014
2014/12/15 - Seasonal Illumination: Sendai
2014/12/09 - Seasonal Illumination: Tokyo
2014/12/04 - Autumn Color Report: Kanazawa
2014/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2014/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2014/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2014/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/10/31 - Autumn Color Report: Karuizawa
2014/10/21 - Autumn Color Report: Bandai
2014/10/20 - Autumn Color Report: Towada
2014/10/01 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2014/09/29 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2014/06/19 - Toranomon Hills opens in Tokyo
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu-Wakamatsu Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/04 - Early Tokyo Blossom Report