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Illumination makes a night in Roppongi extra special

Tokyo Illumination – the Second Story

A city that shines all year round

Illumination makes a night in Roppongi extra special

Without a doubt, Roppongi is the brightest place in Tokyo. During the day, Roppongi is a centre of business, but at night, it transforms into a colourful and stunning place beyond your imagination. Everything from the atmosphere to the people on the street are very different from other areas of Tokyo.

As if the city’s charm isn’t enough, the streets of Roppongi are wonderfully illuminated. Discover the romance, excitement, and the other features of Roppongi in December.

The Hip & Hot PATH in Roppongi:

The Japanese know how to enjoy small events and anniversaries to the fullest. Special days, therefore, are even more special. Without a doubt, Roppongi is a hot spot, and it shines even more with wonderful Christmas illuminations.

You can enjoy Midtown (a multicultural space that represents Roppongi), attractive spots in the Roppongi Hills, and diverse illuminations at a glance. Come to Roppongi to enjoy the wonderful illumination while leisurely walking the streets. This is the time of year when Roppongi shines brightest.

Tip. Roppongi is easily reached via the subway on the Hibiya and Oedo lines. The Hibiya line is the better choice for exiting through the Roppongi Hills. If you take the Oedo line, exit at Midtown.

도쿄롯폰기미드타운웰컴트리  호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳
도쿄롯폰기미드타운외부일루미네이션 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳
도쿄롯폰기크리에달린산타장식  호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳
도쿄롯폰기프로스트플라워장식 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳

 

Midtown

Roppongi Station is connected to the Midtown underground. Once you get off the train, you may want to head for the plaza in front of the entrance to Midtown. Or else, you can browse the underground shops. Welcoming trees and colourful lights offer a prelude to the Midtown illumination, creating an end-of-the-year atmosphere.

After seeing the plaza, head on to check out Midtown. Santa Clause and his reindeer Rudolf, the most famous Christmas mascots, appear by the tree in Midtown every year.

“Hi Santa!” Give him a jolly hello!

Splendid Christmas ornaments which continue for multiple floors inspire onlookers to take multiple photos in delight. The theme of the ornaments is “Diamond Dust”. These ornaments emulate beautiful, glistening, and natural sunlight. Like their name, they seem to be caught in flight, creating the illusion that they glow. A hidden heart motif is fun to search for. Other hidden ornaments include frost and ice flowers which seem to fall from the ceiling. Midtown makes you feel wonderful just by looking up.

도쿄롯폰기별빛정원 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳
도쿄롯폰기별빛정원일루미네이션전경 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳
도쿄롯폰기별빛정원일루미네이션풍경 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳
도쿄롯폰기별빛정원일루미네이션내부 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳

 

Starlight Garden

The garden behind Midtown features a large set of illuminations. The show runs every year, but each year has a different feel. The 2013 theme was “Flying and Earth”. In 2014, Japan’s first illumination device reached as high as four meters and was used in a “Space Travel” theme. “Stick illumination,” a new technology, allows for three-dimensional light shows. The Midtown Starlight Garden is made for taking videos. The intent of the Starlight Garden is to convey the feeling of travelling the galaxy and the arrival in space – a weightless world – a journey beyond time and space.

This feast of lights will fascinate you, starting in waves and moving ceaselessly.

The three minute and 30 second show displays the movements repeatedly, allowing visitors to enjoy it without a time limit. At peak times, the wait can be over an hour long. It therefore pays to be an early bird. Getting in the queue a little earlier will save your precious time.

Trees shaped like champagne bottles are lined up in their own style next to the Starlight Garden. The lighted trees on the street allow you to enjoy a fascinating path and glowing lights. You can find romantic photo spots everywhere.

This is an attractive spot in Tokyo where you can enjoy the winter atmosphere and the leaves of Autumn in December. It also has a small artificial stream in the summer so you can enjoy nature in the city while soaking your feet in the water.

Let’s go back to Roppongi Station and head for the Roppongi Hills. As you take the lift up, you will reach West Walk, the entrance to Mori Tower.

At West Walk plaza, you can see a large spider-like object, which represents Roppongi, and a framed tree announcing the arrival of Christmas. Just a white sculpture in the day time, the frame transforms into a spectacular tree that produces dazzling lights at night. If you arrive at West Walk in the evening, don’t miss the sunset over Tokyo Tower in the distance.

도쿄롯폰기''엘르카페' 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳
도쿄롯폰기''월드위스키바' 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳
도쿄롯폰기모리미술관 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳
도쿄롯폰기크리스마스장식품 호텔스닷컴  롯본기 가볼만한곳

 

ELLE Cafe

ELLE Cafe, run by ELLE magazine, sits next to the plaza with a view of Tokyo Tower. With limited inside seating, we recommend that you order a coffee and walk out onto the terrace, weather permitting, of course.

World Whisky Bar

The bars with great atmospheres start to get busy at night. A collaborative, promotional event with BMW was held last year, where participants could win a free drinks ticket. Delight in the end-of-year atmosphere while enjoying the Christmas market with your free drink.

Mori Art Museum & Toho Cinema

Across the street are the Mori Art Museum and Toho Cinema. You may want to search for exhibitions, films, and other cultural events, as they will serve as special memories of your Roppongi trip. The observatory, known to have as beautiful a view as that of Tokyo Tower, leads to the Mori Art Museum. There is an admission fee for the Mori Tower Observatory, but if you’re lucky, can find a pamphlet which will offer a discount.

Estnation

A separate entrance in front of Mori Tower leads to a collection shop called Estnation. Many wonderful items are on display here, including clothes, kitchen and bathroom products, home decorations, and interior goods. This is a must-visit place for those interested in interior design.

Installed on the overpass connecting Estnation to Mori Tower is a beautiful chandelier. Roppongi goes all-out for Christmas.

From the overpass, you can see that the Christmas market is in full swing in the plaza. Visiting again after sunset is a must, but for now let’s go inside the West Walk building.

Antico Cafe Al Avis

There is an escalator on the way to the ZARA shop entrance. Taking the escalator to the upper floor leads you to Antico, a café serving great coffee. While the café has a European style interior design, it is a Japanese brand franchise.

e.a.gran

Espresso is the café specialty in a classic and stylish atmosphere. This café offers a wide variety of menu items, and the sandwiches and cake slices are particularly appetising. A pasta set and a plate with hearty vegetables are perfectly served. A green-tea tree ornament atop a fresh strawberry cream cake communicates elegance and class. The taste is so soft and sweet that it warms you even if you are freezing cold.

Happy Cooking

A shop selling utensils, recipes, and other cooking items can be found next. Female customers are reeled in by the charming cookie cutters and cute looking utensils.

페이퍼 민트

Paper Mint

The name is reminiscent of peppermint, and you may think of it as a café. On closer inspection, however, one sees that everything is made of paper; the shop features many paper items, including memo pads, cards, diaries, and calendars. This small shop is full of items such as pens, clips, clear files, stickers, and other cute and practical stationery items. The cards range from hand-made Disney characters to Santa Clause and other Christmas cards.

시나본

Cinnabon

The open kitchen café on full display at Cinnabon includes the eye catching display of the kneading of cinnamon rolls. After you enjoy watching the kneading process, it’s time to try the fresh baked cinnamon rolls. The soft texture and sweet flavor will engage all of your senses.

와인 다인 카페 바 사쿠라

Wine Dine Cafe Bar Sakura

Across from the café is a spacious wine bar. Like its name, it offers coffee, wine, food, and a bar all at once. It’s fun to select different options from the various menu items. We recommend Sakura as the perfect end to a luxurious and romantic day in Roppongi.

Christmas Market

Looking forward to bright lights in the night sky, let’s head to Hill Side and browse the Christmas Market. The market is definitely more energetic at night when compared to the afternoon. While it may feel like the Christmas market of Ebisu, it also reflects the unique characteristics of Roppongi. Excitement may spur you to order some wine. An order of turkey and wine runs to about 1,500 yen. This isn’t too costly considering the wonderful atmosphere you can enjoy with your food.

Wherever you look, there are Santa Clauses made of crystals, wooden Rudolf sculptures, and Christmas ornaments made from pieces of cloth. It may be sad that the year is ending, but a new year full of expectations and surprises is just around the corner.

Mori Garden

Riding high on expectations, let’s make our way to the twinkling and romantic Mori Garden. The split road leading to the Asahi TV building is filled with heart-shaped light ornaments. The garden is the perfect place to appreciate the simple lighting while walking with your loved one.

Keyakizaka Galaxy Illumination

Heading straight on will take you to a luxurious street where you can see the Luis Vuitton building. Prepare yourself, as the illuminated tree circling the street will surprise you. The lighting this year is special, because Roppongi Hills is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. The street is crowded with people stopping to take pictures, completely forgetting about the cars on the road. It’s impossible to pass by here without taking some pictures. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere surrounded by the beautiful tree illuminations, so that you can cherish, feel, and remember this moment.

Mori Garden

Riding high on expectations, let’s make our way to the twinkling and romantic Mori Garden. The split road leading to the Asahi TV building is filled with heart-shaped light ornaments. The garden is the perfect place to appreciate the simple lighting while walking with your loved one.

Keyakizaka Galaxy Illumination

Heading straight on will take you to a luxurious street where you can see the Luis Vuitton building. Prepare yourself, as the illuminated tree circling the street will surprise you. The lighting this year is special, because Roppongi Hills is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. The street is crowded with people stopping to take pictures, completely forgetting about the cars on the road. It’s impossible to pass by here without taking some pictures. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere surrounded by the beautiful tree illuminations, so that you can cherish, feel, and remember this moment.

Tsutaya Starbucks

Tsutaya is a brand that features high-end stationary, including Japanese music and books. The size of the shop depends on the region, but the large Tsutaya outlets have a Starbucks inside. The Tsutaya Starbucks near Roppongi Hills is regarded as a hot spot, thanks to the splendid views seen through its windows.

The ground floor includes various professional books, interior and fashion magazines, and trendy reading materials. You can sit by the entrance, sip coffee, and enjoy your time reading samples of the books on sale. The first floor is where you can find children’s books and similar literature. Unlike the ground floor, the first floor has fewer tables, and more sofas and chairs placed along the large windows. This hidden place offers wonderful night views where you can see colourful lights and a blanket of snow below – it’s a wonderful place. 

A winter night in Roppongi with many different illuminations. It has been reborn as a new and attractive space with wonderful, gorgeous new features. Tokyo is the best spot to reminisce about the past and prepare for a new year filled with excitement. If you haven’t set your New Year’s resolution yet, why not plan a Tokyo light trip now? 

 

Article/Photo by Writer Lee Mi-jung

jeeann@hanmail.net

 

The location of the Metro Station

(There is no specific design for the subway station location marking; therefore, you may use a square, circle, or other shapes.)

1. Midtown
Feature: You can get off at Roppongi Station and walk right into the building. You don’t have to use an outdoor entrance, which is perfect for shopping or touring in bad weather. Getting around is easier than in Roppongi Hills and window shopping is easy. In the Starlight Garden at the back, you can enjoy Christmas illuminations sponsored by TOSHIBA.
Address: 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minatoku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3475-3100
Opening Times: Shop 11am – 9pm / Restaurant 11am – 12am
Website: http://www.tokyo-midtown.com/

2. Starlight Garden
Feature: It’s a hot spot near Midtown where you can find romantic illuminations after enjoying shopping, exhibitions, and a quick bite inside the building. This year’s theme is Space Travel.
Address: 9-7-14 Akasaka, Minatoku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3475-3100
Opening Times: Weekdays 5pm – 11pm

3. Roppongi Hills
Feature: Another part of Roppongi, this is a maze-like building with various shops. Though a bit pricey, many restaurants and cafés are available to sit down and rest. 
Address: 6-11-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-6406-6000
Opening Times: Weekdays 10am -11pm

4. Hill Side

1) ELLE Café
Feature: A café designed by the fashion magazine Elle, which boasts a sophisticated interior. Riding the beautify craze, detox juice is for sale.
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Hill Side 2F
Telephone: 03-3408-1188
Opening  Times: Mon.-Fri., 8am – 11p
Weekends, holidays, 11am – 11pm
Website: http://ellecafé.jp/

2) World Whisky Bar
Feature: This bar features whiskies from the top five whisky-producing nations: Japan, Scotland, USA, Canada and Ireland.
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Hill Side 2F
Telephone: 03-6406-6833
Opening Times: Weekdays, 11am – 11pm
Website: http://whiskyhills.jp/

5. Mori Art Museum
Feature: This place is always crowded due to the Mori Tower Observatory and Exhibition Halls. The ticket price is around 1,500 yen, and you can also enjoy the observatory.  
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 53 F
Telephone: 03-5777-8600
Opening Times: Mon. – Wed., Sun. 10am – 10pm Tue. 10am – 5pm
Website: www.mori.art.museum/

6. Toho Cinema
Feature: The cinema is located next to the Mori Art Museum. The museum is like most others but has many foreign tourists due to its regional characteristics.
Address: 6-10-2 Rupoongi, Minatoku, Tokyo
Telephone: 050-6868-5024
Opening Times: Weekdays 7am – 11pm
Website: http://www.tohotheater.jp/theater/009/access.html

7. Estnation
Feature: Next to an escalator which descends from the Hill Side to Asahi TV is a gift shop. It includes trendy design and interior materials and home items including clothing at a glance.
Address: 6-10-2 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-5159-7800
Opening Times: Weekdays, 11am – 9pm
Website: https://www.estnation.co.jp/store/roppongi.html

8. West Walk

1) Antico Cafe Al Avis
Feature: A European style café which is located on the 2nd floor of Mori Tower. This café is located at the corner end on the way up inside the building. It is famous for great lattes and bread, and its pudding-type crème brulee is also recommended.
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower West Walk 3F
Telephone: 03-3470-9381
Opening Times: Weekdays, 7am – 11pm  Holidays 9am – 10pm

2) e.a.gran
Feature: A café with a classic atmosphere. The restaurant offers various menu items, including plates of spaghetti. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely meal and coffee. The price is around 1,000 yen for a meal.
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower West Walk 4F
Telephone: 03-6804-6116 
Opening Times: Mon. – Fri, 8am – 9pm, Sun, Sat and Holidays, 10 am – 9pm
Website: http://www.pscoop.jp/eag/index.html

3) Happy Cooking
Feature: The restaurant also runs a cooking class inside the venue – where you can make your own food. Please request this in advance. Participation fee: 1,000 yen You can choose from bread, cake, and flower cookie making classes. Also on display are cooking utensils and cute cookie cutters.
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower West Walk 4F
Telephone: 03-3403-0011
Opening Times: 10am – 9 pm
Website: http://happycooking.jp/

4) Paper Mint
Although it’s a cozy space, the shop offers various cute character stationary. The prices might be a bit higher, but you get to experience the special and pleasant atmosphere.
Address: 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower West Walk 4F
Telephone: 03-5411-0139
Opening Times: 11am – 9 pm
Website: http://papermint.jp/

9. Cinnabon
Feature: Here you can enjoy menu items such as cinnamon rolls and Seattle’s Best coffee.
Address: 6-5-18 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Roppongi centre building
Telephone: 03-3470-4780
Opening Times: Weekdays 8am – 10pm, Sat 10am – 10pm, Sun and Holidays 10am – 8:30pm
Website: http://www.cinnabon-jp.com/

10. Wine Dine Cafe Bar Sakura
Feature: Sakura’s main offering is wine, but it also operates a café and bar. While the exterior design makes it look expensive, the restaurant actually offers a wide range of menu items, such as pizza and fine wine, at reasonable prices. Lunch runs to about 1,000-2,000 yen, and dinner is about 4,000 yen. English menus are provided for your convenience
Address: 6-1-12, 21 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Roppongi Building 1F
Opening Times: Tue – Sat 11:30am – 5am (Next day), Sun, Mon and Holidays 11:30am – 11:30pm

11. Christmas Market
Feature: A market which runs for a limited time only during Christmas is located in the West Walk of Mori Tower. You can find various Christmas items, as well as libations for the end of the year, such as beer and wine. A piece of turkey and a glass of wine is around 1,500 yen.
Address: 6-11-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo
Opening Times: 11am – 9pm
Website: http://www.roppongihills.com/christmas/2015/event/christmasmarket/

12. Mori Garden
Feature: A small but romantic trail. The heart-shaped illuminations offer a great photo opportunity for couples. Walking through the garden will lead you to the Asahi TV building.
Address: 6-9-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo

13. Keyakizaka Galaxy Illumination
Feature: A wonderful and colourfully lit tree illumination along the Keyakizaka street, which leads to the Asahi TV building and the luxury street. This venue is sponsored by Samsung Galaxy, famous for the original illumination of Roppongi.
Address: 6-12-3 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo , Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka Dori
Telephone: 03-6406-6000 
Opening Times: 5pm – 11pm

14. Tsutaya Starbucks
Feature: Located under the twinkling lights of the Keyakizaka illumination street. It is one of the best spots to enjoy the colourful illuminations with a cup of coffee, but it’s always crowded with people.
Address: 6-11-1 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Gate Tower
Telephone: 03-5411-2667
Opening Times: 7am – 4am the following day
Website: http://www.tsutaya.co.jp/