Midtown Christmas Illumination

Christmas in Tokyo – Your Complete Guide

Midtown Christmas Illumination

Spending Christmas in Tokyo? Let us be your guide to everything festive! We've got advice on how to prepare, where to shop, where to eat, markets, illuminations and much more!

Midtown Christmas Illumination

Photo Credit: toooooool via Flickr cc

Japan doesn’t really do Christmas; it’s literally not a holiday here and more of a couples’ occasion. A typical Christmas in Japan involves strolling through a Christmas market and taking in the illuminations and then wrapping the day up with a chicken dinner with your significant other.

In Tokyo for Christmas and don’t know what to do? With our guide, you’ll be filled with Christmas spirit in no time at all. 

December Weather in Tokyo

Preparing for Christmas

Traditional Christmas Meals

Christmas Markets

Winter Illuminations

More Things to Do

December Weather in Tokyo

Average (°F)Highest (°F)Lowest (°F)Rainfall DaysPrecipitation (mm)Daily Sunshine Hours
4652399446

If you’re looking for snowfall during Christmas, then Tokyo isn’t for you. With temperatures rarely dropping below freezing, it hardly ever snows here. That being said, dress warmly because temperatures can still get very cold. Layers are the name of the game. Undershirts made from polyester, such as Under Armour, are ideal for proper insulation. For the ill-prepared, popular Japanese brand UNIQLO sells a great alternative called HEATTECH at a reasonable price.         

Preparing for Christmas

For expats who’ve just moved here, shopping for gifts, decorating the household and preparing Christmas dinner can be tough. We’ve compiled a list of stores to help ease you into your first Christmas.

For toys…

Kiddy Land

Kiddy Land

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Don’t let the name of this store fool you. Located in Harajuku, this famous five-story toy store is a big hit with children and adults alike. Kiddy Land is stocked full of popular character-themed merchandise such as Star Wars and Hello Kitty.  

Location: 6-1-9 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001

 

Toys R Us

Toys R Us

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Looking for toys? With more than 1,500 branches worldwide, you can’t get wrong with American toy store chain Toys R Us. 

Locations: Odaiba Branch and Ikebukuro Branch

 

Hakuhinkan Toy Park

Hakuhinkan Toy Park

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Relive your childhood by heading to this four-story toy store. For just 200 yen, visitors get five minutes to play with a radio controlled car on a 36m track.

Location: 8-8-11 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo 104-8132

 

For decorations…

Costco

Costco Japan

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On the outskirts of Tokyo find Costco, a well-loved wholesaler. Yes, it’s exactly the same as the ones in America, so it’s stocked full of everything – including festive decorations! The only caveat is that it’s quite a distance from the city centre. 

Location: 1-4 Toyosuna, Mihama, Chiba 261-0024

 

100 Yen Shop – Daiso

Daiso

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Littered throughout Tokyo, Daiso is one of the largest 100 yen shop chains. Find here cheap Christmas decorations of all kinds.   

For more information, check out 100 Yen Shop – A Guide to Discount Shopping in Japan.

Locations: various  

 

Don Quijote

Don Quijote

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Everyone’s favourite mega-discount chain store, Don Quijote has all your Christmas shopping needs covered at more than reasonable prices.  

Locations: various

 

Franfranc

Franfranc

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Home furnishing store Franfranc carries a wide variety of decorations from ornaments to snow globes. Their plastic Christmas trees are highly popular so be sure to get there early to buy one!

Locations: various 

 

Tokyu Hands

Tokyu Hands

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This major department store specialises in do-it-yourself project gear, although it stocks a whole lot more besides. Make your very own decorations and come here for supplies. 

Locations: various

 

For Christmas trees…

IKEA

IKEA Christmas Trees

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40 minutes away from the city centre, IKEA’s Christmas trees range from 3′ to 4′. While not massively impressive, they’re only around 2,000 yen!

Location: 2-3-30 Hamacho, Funabashi, Chiba 273-0012

 

Nissin World Delicatessen

Nissin World Delicatessen Christmas Trees

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This international supermarket is popular amongst foreigners for its import goods. For the hefty price of more than 20,000 yen, you can get a full-size tree here.

Location: 2-34-2 Higashi-Azabu, Minato, Tokyo 106-0044

 

National Azabu Supermarket

National Azabu Supermarket Christmas Trees

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Another store that is popular amongst the expat community is National Azabu Supermarket. Find here 5′ to 8′ trees for no more than 30,000 yen.   

Location: 4-5-2 Minami-Azabu, Minato, Tokyo 106-0047

 

For turkey…

Kinokuniya International

Kinokuniya International

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Kinokuniya International stocks import goods such as Marmite but most importantly: whole Butterball turkeys!  

Location: AO Building B1F, 3-11-7 Kita Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo 107-0061

 

The Meat Guy

 

A photo posted by The Meat Guy (@themeatguyjapan) on

Prefer to do all your shopping online? Then The Meat Guy is for you. They offer turkeys of various sizes and origins (e.g. USA and France) as well as many other premium meats, from USDA steaks to free range chickens.  

Website: The Meat Guy’s Official Website

 

Luca Deli

Luca Deli

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Lacking an oven? Fear not, Luca Deli is for you. In addition to catering numerous international schools, Luca Deli delivers whole roasted turkeys with sides to your front door step. Ignore the price, it’s worth it. 

Website: Luca Deli’s Official Website

Additionally, turkey is available at most international supermarkets – including Meidi-Ya, Nissin World Delicatessen and National Azabu Supermarket. 

 

Online… 

The Foreign Buyers’ Club

The Foreign Buyers’ Club has been serving the expatriate community in Japan since 1989. Whatever it is that you’re missing from home, The Foreign Buyers’ Club has it. Find here turkey and Christmas decorations.   

Website: The Foreign Buyers’ Club’s Official Website

Additional popular e-commerce sites in Japan include Amazon and Rakuten

Traditional Christmas Meals

Hobgoblin

Hobgoblin

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Popular amongst foreigners, Hobgoblin serves the finest English ales and come Christmas time a multi-course dinner that includes roasted turkey and all the yummy trimmings. Additionally, there’s also nomihodai (all-you-can-drink plan). 

Locations: various

 

Good Honest Grub

Good Honest Grub

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Run by Chef Don Foley, this breakfast and brunch (only on the weekends) joint serves simple food made from ingredients from Foley’s very own farm. In addition to its Christmas course, Good Honest Grub also serves vegetarian courses comprised of spicy tofu and vegetables. 

Location: 2-20-8 Higashi, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0011

 

Roti Roppongi

Roti Roppongi

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Chef Ian Philip Tozer’s Roti Roppongi has been in operation in the same location for over 10 years now. With a long history comes tradition. Available for lunch or dinner, this American-style grill has been serving its famous Christmas buffet for many years now. For more information, check out their menu.    

Location: Piramide Building 1F, 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032

 

Two Rooms Grill & Bar

Two Rooms Grill & Bar

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Two Rooms Grill & Bar is a swanky bar and restaurant with gorgeous views over Tokyo’s skyline. The Christmas course here comes at a premium price (17,500 yen) but it does, in fairness, come with wagyu steak and a glass of champagne. Check out their menu.   

Location: AO Building 5F, 3-11-7 Kita-Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo 107-0061

 

The Terrace, Westin Hotel

The buffet at the Westin Hotel’s The Terrace is extremely popular, especially during the festive season. Find here Eastern and Western dishes like roasted turkey, sushi and dumplings. In addition to its delectable buffet, the lobby leading to the restaurant houses a staggering 5m Christmas tree. What a sight!   

Location: The Westin Tokyo 1F, 1-4-1 Mita, Meguro, Tokyo 153-8580

 

New York Grill, Park Hyatt Hotel

If the price isn’t an issue, then New York Grill is for you. Located on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel, the stunning view of the city coupled with the grill’s 22,000 yen five-course Christmas dinner – consisting of truffles and wagyu beef – make for a majestic night.  

Location: Park Hyatt Tokyo 52F, 3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku 163-1055

In addition to these restaurants, most luxury hotel restaurants – including Hotel New Otani’s – offer Christmas meals.   

 

For a traditional Japanese Christmas meal…

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Due to the turkey’s lack of popularity and KFC’s 1974 “Kentucky for Christmas” advertising campaign, it’s now customary in Japan to eat chicken for Christmas. It’s also great if you’re on a tight budget since turkeys in Tokyo can fetch prices of 4,000 yen and upwards. 

Locations: various

Christmas Markets

If lavish sit-down meals aren’t your thing then try out one of many German-style Christmas markets littered throughout the city. Find here German eats and hot drinks aplenty.  

Roppongi Hills Christmas Market

Roppongi Hills Christmas Market

Photo Credit: Alessandro Baffa via Flickr cc

Inspired by one of the largest markets in Germany, Roppongi Hills Christmas Market came to be in 2006. With each passing year, the market gets bigger and louder. Find here a festive concert playing all your favourite merry tunes and Christmas spirit by the bucket load. This market has it all, so what are you waiting for, head on over!  

Location: Roppongi Hills, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-6108

 

Solamachi Christmas Market

Come December, find under the towering Tokyo Skytree rows of quaint wooden stalls that make up the Solamachi Christmas Market. With the surrounding illuminations and a lit up Tokyo Skytree in the background, the atmosphere is perfect for a romantic date night. 

Location: Tokyo Solamachi, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045

 

Christmas Marché de Nöel

Christmas Marché de Nöel

Photo Credit: Zengame via Flickr cc

Located in Yebisu Garden Place, this Christmas market features the grand Baccarat Eternal Lights, a 5m by 3m chandelier. In addition to the pretty lights, browse thousands of Christmas knick-knacks.     

Location: Yebisu Garden Place, 4-20 Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-6090

 

Special Mention: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market

Not in Tokyo, but Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market deserves a special shout out. Just an hour away from central Tokyo, this Christmas market sits by the Yokohama Bay and promises breathtaking views of its skyline. After checking out the market, why not head on over to the ice rink next door? 

Location: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, 1-1-1 Shinko, Naka, Yokohama 231-0001

Winter Illuminations

Midtown Christmas

Midtown Christmas lights is multiple areas of illuminations spanning an area of 2km2. The star of the show is the “Starlight Garden”, a field of tens of thousands LED lights. 

Location: 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo 107-0052

 

Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination

Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination

Photo Credit: Gideon Davidson via Flickr cc

Tokyo Dome City is a large entertainment complex with several facilities including a baseball stadium and an amusement park. Come Christmas time, the entire complex is illuminated by a whopping 100,000+ LED lights!      

Location: 1-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo, Tokyo 112-0004

 

Marunouchi Illumination

Marunouchi illumination

Photo Credit: Yuki Shimazu via Flickr cc

After marveling at an illuminated Tokyo Station, head on over to Marunouchi Naka-Dori Street where trees on both sides are covered by a million or so energy-saving bulbs. These yellow-orange lights go out at midnight making it perfect for a late night stroll.     

Location: 2-2-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0005

 

Canyon d’Azur – Shiodome Caretta Illumination

Canyon d'Azur - Shiodome Caretta Illumination

Photo Credit: Hideya HAMANO via Flickr cc

Located on the basement floor of this shopping complex, this illuminations display has been going on for a little over a decade now, so you can expect the lights here to be of the highest standard. While strolling through, find yourself completely immersed in a six-minute audiovisual show which occurs every 20 minutes.     

Location: 1-8-2 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato, Tokyo 105-7090

 

Roppongi Hills Artelligent Christmas

Roppongi Hills Artelligent Christmas

Photo Credit: Yuichi Sakuraba via Flickr cc

In addition to its Christmas market, Roppongi Hills pull out all the stops for its illuminations as well. This massive shopping complex and its surroundings are covered in a sea of lights. The entirety of Keyakidori Street is to be painted with a champagne hue by thousands of lights on trees to make it especially gorgeous. 

Location: 6-11-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-6108

 

Special Mention: Tokyo German Village Winter Illumination

Tokyo German Village Winter Illumination

Photo Credit: Zengame via Flickr cc

Neither in Tokyo nor Germany, this winter illuminations display is off the beaten path and hard to get to. Taking more than 2 hours from Tokyo Station, this event is definitely worth the hassle since it was deemed one of three major illuminations in Kanto. In addition to the pretty lights, Tokyo German Village is a large theme park made up of a Ferris wheel, kiddy zoo and much more. Come here for the perfect day trip!   

Location: 419 Nagayoshi, Sodegauru, Chiba 299-0204

More Things to Do

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Tokyo Disney Christmas

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Self-proclaimed “happiest place on Earth”, both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea go all out over the festive season with each amusement park adding its own flavor and twist to the festivities. The parades and shows at both parks are awe-inspiring. See Mickey Mouse dancing on a float to Christmas tunes!   

Location: 1-13 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0031

 

Ice Skating

White Sacas Toyotown Ice Garden

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In addition to year-round indoor ice skating rinks such as Meiji Jingu Gaien and Citizen Plaza, more and more outdoor rinks like Yokohama’s Art Rink pop up at this time of the year. 

White Sacas Toyotown Ice Garden, one of the largest outdoor ice rinks opens late November. Under pretty lights, find here couples blissfully skating together.

 

Church Services

If you’re looking for Christmas church services, here’s a list of popular Tokyo churches with services conducted in English: 

St. Paul International Lutheran Church

Tokyo Baptist Church

Tokyo Union Church

 

Partying/Clubbing

WOMB

Provided by Foursquare

WOMB

Since Japan doesn’t consider Christmas as a holiday, it’s business as usual in the most part. However, clubs will often have themed nights, so be on the lookout for major clubs like:  

Sound Museum Vision

WOMB

ageHa

 

Shopping

Japan Lucky Bag

Photo Credit: Danny Choo via Flickr cc

If you’re sticking around after Christmas, partake in the year-end sales hosted by the many department stores. These stores have what they call “lucky bags” (or “mystery bags”) where customers pay a specific amount for a bag containing an unknown item. Are you feeling lucky?

For more information, check out this website

 

For more things to do in Tokyo during the festive season, check out our article (Tokyo in Winter – Things to Do in Tokyo in Winter).

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