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In Japan, the winter season and winter holidays are a special time of the year. Whether you celebrate Christmas or another holiday, you can spend this season admiring magnificent light-up displays, ice skating, and shopping. Read more to learn about where and when to try unique winter activities.
In Europe and America, Christmas and winter holidays hold religious significance and are a time to be enjoyed with one's family and relatives. In Japan, however, Christmas is considered a romantic holiday for couples to spend time together. For example, on a typical Christmas date, couples go to an upscale restaurant and exchange presents. With friends, Christmas celebrants prepare fried chicken and chocolate cake, drink alcohol, exchange presents and have a pleasant time.
For those traveling in Japan, in addition to food and presents, special winter events, like light-up displays and ice skating, are another part of the fun. This article introduces suggested ways to take in the season.
In the winter, many places in Japan are lit up with special illuminations. Below are three popular spots with colorful and whimsical scenery where you can enjoy being transported to a magical, wintery dimension.
At the popular Tokyo German Village, you can enjoy the scenery of a German country town along with delicious food; it is also well-known for its two million glimmering LED lights. Every year the illumination undergoes drastic changes, and you can even enjoy fireworks at the same time, depending on the season. We recommend the view from the Ferris Wheel.
Light Up: October 29, 2021 - March 21, 2022
About a million LED bulbs are set up along the length of the 1.2 km Tokyo Marunouchi Naka-dori, enveloping the street in champagne gold light.
Light Up: November 11, 2021 - February 20, 2022
Photo by Pixta
Luminarie is perhaps the most popular light display in the country. Set against the night view of famous Kobe City, the gorgeous lights are sure to make you sigh in amazement.
Notice: Unfortunately, Kobe Luminarie has been cancelled this year in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections.
Around this time, department stores and fashion outlets hold limited-time sales offering year-end bargains. It is a great time to purchase holiday presents.
Every year, various fashion brands put together Christmas-only cosmetics sets, which feature special designs and come with limited-edition pouches for you to enjoy. These cosmetics can be procured at department stores. Since they’re so popular, they sell out fast, so do some research about the specific items you want beforehand.
Also, many sweets shops prepare chocolates, traditional sweets, and special assortments specifically for Christmastime. Enjoy the atmosphere in the stores, which feels totally different from the normal shopping vibe.
The year-end sale is one of the allures of Christmas, as many departments and shopping outlets will run blowout sales to sell through their inventory. The bargains aren’t limited to fashion goods, as you can also find cheap home appliances and items for your home interior. Some sales start even before Christmas, so do some investigating and head out early to do some shopping.
There are a great number of ice skating rinks in Tokyo which are specially installed in winter. Skating around in the wondrous atmosphere produced by the lights is a special pleasure that can only be had during the holiday season. We’ll introduce you to a few of the rinks you can skate on.
Accessible from Shibuya in about ten minutes, Futako Tamagawa has an exceptional location. Made from natural ice, the 390 square meter skating rink at Futako Tamagawa Rise is enjoyed by people of all ages.
Ice Skating Season: December 11, 2021 - March 6 2022
The Red Brick Warehouse, a popular shopping and sightseeing destination in Yokohama, also opens a skating rink in winter. Usually themed around art and ice, the Red Brick Warehouse skating rink cooperates with a diverse array of artists every year.
Ice Skating Season: December 4, 2021 - February 20, 2022
There are many events that can be enjoyed in Japan during the holiday season. How about spending a wonderful Christmas in a uniquely Japanese atmosphere?