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Japan: Tokyo (The Baccarat Eternal Lights)

The number of illumination displays throughout Tokyo seems endless during the holiday season! Yet, one of the more unusual ones takes place at Yebisu Garden Place from early November until mid-January. Known as The Baccarat Eternal Lights, the event which began in 1999, features a 16-foot Baccarat crystal chandelier comprised of 8,472 pieces of crystal illuminated with 250 light bulbs.

Baccarat Crystal is a renowned manufacturer of fine crystal glassware. Located in Baccarat, France, the company began in 1765 and manufactured all types of utility glassware including windows, bottles and tableware. The company did not start producing fine lead crystal until 1815. Today, it is considered the foremost glassworks in France having won medals at major exhibitions in Paris from 1823 onwards.

Yebisu Garden Place was built on the former site of a beer brewery and consists of roughly a dozen buildings and skyscrapers. It features a large array of restaurants and shops including a Mitsukoshi Department Store, the Westin Tokyo Hotel, offices, residential space, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and the Michelin three-star Chateau Restaurant Taillvent-Robuchon.

The chandelier is encased in aluminum and glass at the far end of a red carpet. A large Christmas tree can be found at the opposite end. Trees illuminated with tiny lights sparkle on each side of the carpet as you make your way toward the enormous chandelier.

During the lighting ceremony, which takes place on the first day of the event, there are live performances featuring an orchestra and choir performing at the foot of the chandelier. The chandelier is lit from 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM daily.

All in all, it is a rather romantic setting, appealing to couples who typically stroll together in town this time of year.

The Yebisu Garden Place is easily accessible from Ebisu Station (Yamanote Line) via the skywalk.

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