You may ask yourself whether a country like Japan, whose main religions are Shintoism and Buddhism celebrates Christmas and the answer is an overwhelming YES! And in doing so, there is a massive effort put into the illuminations and displays throughout Tokyo and other densely populated areas throughout the country.
One such illumination display is the The Roppongi Hills Artelligent Christmas. This annual event transforms three different locations: Keyakizaka Street, Mori Garden, and 66 Plaza (which is the main plaza in front of Mori Tower) into a winter wonderland. The glow of millions of LED lights beckon visitors from all over Japan to the Minato ward and fills them with the holiday spirit. The event normally runs from early November through December 25th from 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM.
Keyakizaka Street running through the heart of Roppongi Hills becomes a long river of alternating blue and red lights stretching 1300 feet. At Roku-roku Plaza ( 66 Plaza), the entrance to Roppongi Hills, the illuminations include a 26-foot Christmas tree which changes color. The tree is lit November 18th to December 25th from 5:00 pm to midnight. Mori Garden has included crystalized sculptures over the years that seem to float on the pond surrounded by thousands of LED lights. Finally, there is a Christmas Market which opens from 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM at the Roppongi Keyakizaka Dori East Court selling everything from the traditional mulled wines and light meals to actual Christmas trees, wreaths and flowers! The West Walk, a popular shopping area also becomes a festive place to visit this time of year, decorated with glittering Christmas decorations galore.
The Roppongi Hills Artelligent Christmas is a great date spot and in a country where Christmas is primarily a couples’ holiday, it is a great place to stroll with your significant other after a nice dinner at a romantic restaurant followed by a slice of Christmas cake!