Best 10 Must-see Event Guide in Tokyo December 2017

Tokyo is a city of politics and economics, but in autumn you will see trees of the metropolis changing into red and yellow. In this article we will show you some spots where many foreign tourists are going to see beautifully colored leaves. Information of fantastic illuminations and Christmas events follows. If you are visiting Japan in this autumn or winter, this article will be so helpful!

Contemporary Art Event

1. Tokyo Michiterasu  December 24th〜28th, 2017  (scheduled)

The theme of the art event at Marunouchi district in 2017 is “celebration”. This event illuminates the district with flowers and lights. An artist from Denmark is in charge of the flower art. Marunouchi district is the center of Japanese business and historically important culture and future are mixed. This art event called “Michiterasu” also has the concept of lightning up the future. In Japanese “Michi” means “future”, and “Terasu” means lighting up. You can enjoy the Event at both daytime and night especially at “Gyoko-dori Street”. At night, the director makes flowers and lights beautifully mixed. This event commemorates 10th anniversary of Shin-Marunouchi-building, 15th anniversary of Marunouchi-building, 20th anniversary of Tokyo international forum and ground open of Marunouchi Station in the Tokyo Station that has historical buildings.

Schedule

24th〜28th December, 2017

15th〜20th December, 2017 for Flower Avenue held at Marunouchi-Nakadori Street

Access and Address

Around JR Tokyo Station Marunouchi Exit

  • Address: Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-to
  • MAP:

Price and Reservation

Free

Official Web Site

http://www.tokyo-michiterasu.jp/

2. Baccarat ETERNAL LIGHTS  –A form of Pleasure-  3rd November, 2017 〜 8th January, 2018

This is one of the events of Ebisu Garden Place Winter Illumination 2017. You can enjoy the brilliance of lights in this event. This event has held 18 times already. You will be astonished with the one of the biggest chandeliers that is shining at the central square of Ebisu Garden Place. The chandelier is as big as 5 meters in height and 3 meters in width. And also this chandelier has as much as 8472 pieces of crystal and 250 lights. On top of that, 10-meters-long Christmas tree at Tokei-hiroba draws people’s attention with the astonishingly beautiful fantastic illumination with over one hundred thousand lights. Along the JR line from Ebisu Station, the street is also illuminated with blue LED lamps and it’s called “Koropura Canal Walk”.

Schedule

The dates for the event: 3rd November, 2017〜8th January, 2018

Opening hour: 12:00〜24:00

At the first day of the event, some events such as lightning up ceremony are going to be held.

14:30〜 A concert with local Ebisu chorus and gospel is to be held.

17:00〜  Lightning up ceremony

Access and Address

  • Place: Ebisu Garden Place
  • Few minutes from JR Ebisu Station on foot
  • 22 minutes from JR Yamanote Line Tokyo Station to Ebisu Station
  • Address: 4-20-3, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to
  • MAP:

Price and Reservation

You need neither fee nor reservation

Official Web Site

https://gardenplace.jp/special/2017christmas/

3.Shinjuku Terrace City ILLUMINATION -15th November, 2017 〜 22nd February, 2018-

This event illuminates Odakyu-Shinjuku Station area as if this was a town. They call the town “Shinjuku Terrace City” and have separated into 4 areas; “Shinjuku-nishiguchi Area”, “Mosaic Slope Area”, “Southern Teracce Area”, “East Exit Area”. This illumination is so broad from west side to eastern south area of Shinjuku Station. The illumination is on from 16:30 pm in December, and from 17:00 pm in other months. The concept of Shinjuku Terrace City ILLUMINAION is “Smile” as same as the one of 2016. The whole area is illuminated in baby pink with things modeled in the shape of heart mark that gives cheerful impression.

Schedule

The dates for the event: 5th November, 2017 from 17:00 (16:30 only for December) until 24:00

Access and Adress

Place: Around Odakyu Shinjuku Station

The nearest station: Few minutes from Odakyu Shinjuku Station on foot

30 minutes from Yamanote or Chuo line Tokyo Station

Address: 1, Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to

MAP:

Price and Reservation

You need neither fee nor reservation

Official Web Site

http://www.odakyu.jp/terrace-city/index.html

4. “Fear in Painting” Exhibition from 7th, 〜 17th October, 2017

“Fear in Painting” Exhibition is now being held at Ueno Royal Museum. This exhibition features masterpieces from the point of view of “fear”. This unique exhibition is held in under the supervision of Kyoko Nakano, the writer of a book “Fear in Painting” that was published 10 years ago. Usually when we see art pieces we enjoy the atmosphere and the method the painter used. However this exhibition put importance on the background or unknown truths of history and human’s week points. This exhibition is so popular and always busy inside that you sometimes need to wait for 10 to 20 minutes. One of the attractions of this exhibition is a 2.5 meters in height and 3 meters in width masterpiece “The Execution of Lady Jane Grey” drawn by Paul Delaroche that is owned by the National Gallery in London. This masterpiece had never been exhibited in Japan before.

Schedule

The dates for the event: 7th October 〜 17th December, 2017

Opening hour: 10:00 〜 17:00 (extended after the middle ten days of November)

Access and Address

Place: Ueno Royal Museum

The nearest station: 3-minutes walk from JR Ueno Station on foot

20 minutes from JR Tokyo Station

Address: 1-2, Ueno-kouen, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to

MAP:

Price and Reservation

Day ticket is 1,600 yen and ticket sold in advance is 1,400 yen for adult

Official Web Site

http://www.kowaie.com/

An Event You Can Enjoy with Your Children

5. The Rainbow Fish Exhibition 〜Read the Water Tank〜

Aqua Park Shinagawa is a stylish aquarium in Tokyo. The exhibition this aquarium is holding is “The Rainbow Fish Exhibition” 〜Read the Water Tank〜. The exhibition section “Little Paradise” on the 2nd floor of the aquarium is the world of the book “The Rainbow Fish” that is translated into 57 languages and has been read over 3o million people around the world. This is a picture book is telling friendship, consideration and growth of a child through a life of a fish. In this exhibition section “Little Paradice”, there are 9 water tanks in a row and 4 projectors that show famous scenes of the book. There are fishes that look like a fish of the picture book in the water tanks and lights and movie are well used. Because you can also visit dolphin show at “The Stadium” in the Aqua Park Shinagawa, you won’t be bored.

Schedule

  • 7th October 〜 25th December, 2017
  • 10:00 〜 22:00 (last admission is 21:00)

Access and Address

2F Little Paradise, Aqua Park Shinagawa

  • 7-minutes walk from JR Shinagawa Station
  • 15-minutes from JR Yamanote line Tokyo Station
  • Address: Shinagawa Prince Hotel, 4-10-30, Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo-to
  • MAP:

Price and Resetvation

Entrance fee for Aqua Park Shinagawa: 2,000 yen for adult, 1,200 yen for elementary and middle school pupils, 700 yen for children under school age. Reservation is not required.

Official Web Site

http://www.aqua-park.jp/aqua/20477/index.html

An Event to Enjoy Nature

6. Meiji-jingu-gaien Ginkgo Festival  17th November 〜 3rd December, 2017

There used to be a first large-scale stadium from 1924 to 1957 at Meiji-jingu-gaien. Even now you can enjoy watching baseball, playing ice skate, tennis and other sports there. The “A Row of Ginkgo ” there is so famous. About 150 ginkgoes are planted both sides and the leaves turn into beautiful color in autumn. It is so refreshing to walk down the road seeing yellow-colored gingko trees. In this festival, you can enjoy eating many unique foods. As much as 44 food stalls are opening at the event and usually 1.8 million people visit there.

Schedule

The dates for the event: 17th November 〜 3rd December, 2017

Opening hour: 10:00 〜 20:00

Access and Address

  • Meiji-jingu-gaien
  • 6-minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line Aoyama-1choume Station
  • 20-minutes from JR Tokyo Station
  • Address: 1-1, Kasumigaoka-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to
  • MAP:

Price and Reservation

You need neither fee nor reservation

Official Web Site:

http://www.jingugaien-ichomatsuri.jp/

7. Colored leaves of Ueno-onshi Park    Middle of November 〜 early December

Many people come to see beautifully blooming cherry blossoms in spring at Ueno-onshi Park, and in autumn, people come back here to see colored leaves. The lots of nature of the park, that is different from other usual parks in Tokyo, let you feel the transitions of the seasons. You can rent a boat at Shinobazuno-ike pond where you can see beautifully colored leaves from the pond. The scenery that autumn leaves and skyscrapers are well mixed is creating is breathtaking. You will see many people enjoying watching wild birds coming to the park. Because there are Ueno Zoo, National Museum of Nature and Science and National Museum of Western Art, not only children but also adults can enjoy whole day. Also the large fountain of the park is another must-see.

Schedule

Autumn leaves are at their best from middle of November to the end of the year.

Opening hour: 5:00 〜 23:00

Access and Address

  • Place: Ueno-onshi Park
  • 7-minutes walk from JR Ueno, Keisei Line Ueno Station
  • 20-minutes from JR Yamanote line Tokyo Station
  • Address: 5-20, Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to
  • MAP:

Price and Reservation

Entrance to the park is free, but to enter museums, you need to pay additional fee. No reservation is required.

Official Web Site

http://www.kensetsu.metro.tokyo.jp/jimusho/toubuk/ueno/siki.html

8. Autumn Leaves at Shijuku-gyoen  Middle of October 〜 Middle of December

Shinjuku-gyoen used to be made as a garden for the Imperial Family in 1906, but it became a park owned by government later and now everyone can use. Although this park is located in the middle of Shinjuku, the most crowded city of Japan, about ten thousand trees are planted around the park. You will see trees with red leaves and trees with yellow leaves. Yellow trees are liriodendron, cherry blossom and ginkgo. Red trees are maple tree. Those leaves fall after turning into red or yellow, and pile up on the street ending up making a carpet of fallen leaves. You will hear your shoes making a squishing-sound while walking on the piled leaves. The garden of the Shinjuku-gyoen is Japanese modern western one. That is mixed style of French, British and Japanese.

Schedule

  • Colored leaves are at their best from middle of October to the middle of December.
  • Close: Every Mondays
  • Opening hour: 9:00 〜 16:00

Access and Address

Place: Shinjuku-gyoen

10-minutes walk from JR, Keio, Odakyu Shinjuku Station South Exit

30-minutes from Tokyo Station

Address: 1-1, Naito-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to

MAP:

Price and Reservation

200 yen

No reservation is required

Official Web Site

http://fng.or.jp/shinjuku/

Traditional Festival

9. Honjo-Matsuzaka-cho Park Kira Festival and Genroku-ichi 9th 〜 10th December

In the old town area Sumidaku in Tokyo, there is Kiratei-ato where historical fact Chuushingura, that all Japanese knows and you can see TV drama with the history every year, took place. Kiratei-ato is now a park called “Sumida-ku Matsuzaka-cho kouen” owned by the ward government. Every year, Kira Festival and Gisshi Festival is held at 2nd Saturday and Sunday, December. This festival is to recall Akaho-roushi who avenged their lord and vassals of Kira-family who died in a vengeance. Akaho is Hyogo prefecture and Kira is Aichi prefecture now. Those days Tokyo was called “Edo” and there was Tokugawa shogunate, and each feudal clan had their temporary residence in Edo. Kiratei is one of those residences. There are over 80 stalls in this event.

Schedule

The dates for the event: 2nd Saturday and Sunday of December

Access and Address

Place: Matsuzaka-cho Park

5-minutes walk from JR Soubu Line Ryogoku Station

20 minutes from Tokyo Station with JR Soubu line Rapid and on foot

Address: 3-13-9, Ryogoku, Sumidaku, Tokyo-to

MAP:

Price and Reservation

Free

No reservation is required

Official Web Site

http://www.1214.tokyo/

10. Asakusa Osameno-Kamnon Hagoita-shi 17th 〜 19th December, 2017

People in Asakusa have been holding a market since a long time ago at the end of the year. It used to be a market to sell daily necessities to worshippers, but gradually they came to sell goods for New Year. One of those goods was battledore. The battledore they sold is called “Hagoita”. At first it was sold as a good-luck article but as people started giving Hagoita for family in which a female baby was born, the demand for Hagoita began increased. In the old days people bought Hagoita with shuttlecocks to play a game hitting the shuttlecock with Hagoita to each other. Even now there are over 10 stores that sell Hagoita, and the statement they are saying and customer’s response is so interesting just by hearing. If you buy Hagoita at those shops, you would be sent off with hand-clapping. That is a Japanese custom for luck.

Schedule

  • The dates for the event: 10:00 〜21:00
  • Opening hour: 10:00 〜 21:00

Access and Address

  • The precincts of a Senso-ji temple
  • 5-minutes walk from Asakusa Station
  • 20-minutes form Tokyo Station on train
  • Address: 2-3-1, Asakusa, Taito-ku
  • MAP:

Price and Reservation

Free

No reservation is required

Official Web Site

http://www.asakusa-toshinoichi.com/

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About Shoto Hachiya

Hello, my name is Shoto! I’ve lived in and traveled many countries. Through the experiences, I saw a lot of different cultures and customs, and that made me realize how unique Japanese culture is.