It is that time of the year again – Christmas illuminations and decorations are up all over Tokyo Midtown and the crowds are as thick as usual! Midtown is strangely photogenic so I can’t resist taking some pictures every time I pass through the area, and every year something changes slightly in their decorations. The Christmas tree though, is the same year after year and as popular as ever.
The illuminations in the park behind Midtown are always crowded and are scheduled to run until December 25th. Most of the crowds tend to stay at the bottom of the field though, and if you don’t mind walking a little up the field it is usually not crowded at all up there. In Japan Christmas is not a big family event, it is more for young couples enjoying a romantic night out. “Older” couples tend to order fried chicken and cake and have a quiet night in. Me, I will be working all through Christmas!
Christmas in Japan is like Christmas in many other countries, more about by consumerism than any tradition or even religion. Families usually spend Christmas together (after work of course) with a cake and some grilled chicken, while young adults or those unattached prefer to spend Christmas eve with their sweethearts. To lure this attraction seeking young crowd many shopping centers put on light displays and events, the most popular of which are so crowded that people have to cue up to get in. There was supposed to be a huge light display at Tokyo station but when the managers understood the huge numbers of people who were likely to show up the event was actually cancelled! I happened to walk through Tokyo Midtown in the Roppongi district on Christmas eve and saw these christmas decorations. While the decorations inside the big commercial center was focused on abstract shapes there were some cute hand decorated snowmen!
Tokyo Midtown is the second to newest huge “center” in here in Tokyo, a massive building complete with offices, shops, restaurants, galleries, gardens, clinics etc. It is in Roppongi, the hub of Tokyo’s nightlife. Like all the major centers of Tokyo they have pulled no punches when it comes to putting on the Christmas displays including any number of Christmas trees. I think this tree, made up of little santas were also in place last year but I had a good time watching all the people thronged around taking pictures of it. Despite the fact that there are very few Christians in Japan, Christmas is really popular here. I took these photos last night when I passed the area to see the Christmas light show, more photos to come!
Trying to squeeze in yet another Christmasy themed post here! The last one of the year perhaps? This is Marunouchi Building, just in front of Tokyo station and the emperors palace. The huge central hall is just fantastic and I have blogged about this place many time before but never managed to give you a sense of just how big it is. The first photo shows the hall from above, and the second from downstairs. It’s huge! Definitively a must see if you have the chance and are visiting Tokyo.