Tokyo is a city with countless attractions and numerous events throughout the year. Especially in December, there are plenty of events such as illuminations and Christmas! It's perfect for dates, family trips, and trips with friends. In this article, we will introduce information organized by area! Be sure to bookmark this for later when planning your next trip to Japan♪
※This article is based on information as of August 2023, or information from recent years. Please check the official website or other sources for the latest event information.
What is the average temperature in Tokyo in December? What kind of clothes are recommended?
Autumn ends and the real cold arrives in December. The average temperature in Tokyo in December is about 7.7 degrees (※), and the temperature continues to drop as the month progresses.
Also, the average daily high temperature is about 12 degrees, and the average daily low temperature is about 4 degrees (※). Because of the large temperature difference between day and night, be sure to prepare against the cold, especially when sightseeing at night.
While it's cold outside, the heating inside can make it hot. Therefore, the ease of temperature adjustment is a key point in winter coordination.
Combine thermal innerwear and knits with thick coats or down jackets to make it easy to take off your outerwear when entering indoors. Adjust your body temperature accordingly. It's comfortable to add brushed pants or thermal leggings as innerwear for your bottoms. Furthermore, don't forget to keep your feet warm with high-insulation shoes, boots, and socks!
Disposable hand warmers, which can be obtained at drugstores, are also very useful items during the cold season.
Recommended illumination events held in Tokyo in December
After the peak viewing season of autumn leaves and ginkgo trees at various places in Tokyo, such as Meiji Jingu Gaien, the city of Tokyo is enveloped in a glamorous mood in December. Let's introduce three illumination events that can be said to be the winter tradition of Tokyo.
【Odaiba Area】Illumination Island Odaiba (DiverCity Tokyo Plaza・Fuji TV and others)
In the Odaiba area, the annual event 'Illumination Island Odaiba' is held, where various commercial and accommodation facilities are brightly lit up.
For example, at 'DiverCity Tokyo Plaza', the life-sized Unicorn Gundam statue is upgraded to a winter-limited version of lighting. The illumination held throughout the year at 'Fuji TV' also colors the night of Odaiba in Christmas colors during the event period.
The "Statue of Liberty" in Odaiba, which has become a landmark, also carries out a light-up inspired by rainbow colors. Let's take a picture that can only be taken in this season against the night view of Tokyo Bay.
- Venue: DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, Aqua City Odaiba, etc.
- Event period: Usually late November to December 25
*The event period and lighting time vary depending on the facility
- Nearest station: Yurikamome "Odaiba Kaihin Park Station", Tokyo Rinkai High-speed Railway "Tokyo Teleport Station", etc.
- Official website: https://www.tokyo-odaiba.net/
- Sightseeing spots in Odaiba: Enjoy shopping and sightseeing in Tokyo for a day! Full of spots that can be enjoyed even on rainy days!
- Thing to Do in FUJI Television Building - Japan's Leading Television Station
【Harajuku & Omotesando Area】Omotesando Illumination
The Omotesando Illumination decorates about 150 Zelkova trees along the 1.1km stretch from the Jingu Bridge intersection (in front of JR "Harajuku Station") to the Omotesando intersection (in front of Tokyo Metro "Omotesando Station") with approximately 900,000 lights. Both sides, lined with flagship stores of high-end fashion brands, are bathed in a uniform champagne gold color.
Also, many illumination events are held at commercial facilities along the street, such as "Omotesando Hills Christmas Illumination" at Omotesando Hills and "Omohara Christmas Illumination" at Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Why not take a stroll around the luxurious city and enjoy the illuminations?
- Event period: Usually early to late December (only low trees, lights are up until early January)
- Lighting time: Sunset to 22:00
- Nearest station: JR "Harajuku Station", Tokyo Metro "Meiji Jingumae
Station" & "Omotesando Station"
- Official website: https://omotesando.or.jp/illumi/
【Tokyo Station Area】Marunouchi Illumination・Tokyo Michi Terrace
The "Marunouchi Illumination" is held mainly along the "Marunouchi Nakadori," a street that stretches about 1.2km through the Marunouchi area (between Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace). Over 340 street trees, adorned with the light of approximately 1.2 million champagne gold LEDs, color the sophisticated cityscape of the metropolis.
- Event period: Usually from early November to mid-February of the following year
- Lighting time: 15:00-23:00 (15:00-24:00 in December only)
- Nearest stations: JR & Tokyo Metro "Tokyo Station", Tokyo Metro "Otemachi Station" & "Yurakucho Station" and others
- Official website: https://www.marunouchi.com/
You won't want to miss "Tokyo Michi Terrace", which is held around the same time in the Tokyo Station area. The sight of the red-brick Tokyo Station Marunouchi Station building and Marunouchi Central Square lit up is nothing short of spectacular! From Gyoko-dori, which is right outside the Marunouchi Central Exit, you can take a head-on shot of the station building adorned with illuminations on both sides.
- Event period: Usually mid-December to December 25
- Lighting time: 16:00 to 21:00
- Nearest station: JR & Tokyo Metro "Tokyo Station"
Recommended Christmas events held in Tokyo in December
Many Christmas events held in Tokyo take place not only on December 25, but also from late November to late December. You can fully enjoy the Christmas mood for about a month.
【Roppongi Area】Roppongi Hills Christmas・MIDTOWN CHRISTMAS
In the Roppongi area, the Christmas events at the two major commercial facilities, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, are the highlights.
At "Roppongi Hills Christmas", in addition to the "Keyaki-zaka Illumination" where about 800,000 white and blue LEDs decorate the tree-lined street, a Christmas market selling Christmas goods and authentic German cuisine is also held. Find your favorite angle and capture the Keyaki trees and Tokyo Tower together with your camera.
- Location: Inside Roppongi Hills, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
- Event period: Usually from early November to December 25
- Lighting time: 【Keyaki-zaka Illumination】17:00～23:00
- Nearest station: Tokyo Metro / Toei Subway "Roppongi Station"
- Official website: https://www.roppongihills.com/
At "MIDTOWN CHRISTMAS", which wraps Tokyo Midtown in a variety of lights, various light performances are deployed from the plaza area to the garden area. In addition to the Christmas decorations located throughout the building, the largest outdoor rink in Tokyo, "MIDTOWN ICE RINK", also appears. You can spend a special time under the winter sky.
- Location: Inside Tokyo Midtown, 9-7-1, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
- Event period: Usually mid-November to December 25
- Lighting time: 【MIDTOWN WINTER LIGHTS】17:00～23:00
- Nearest station: Tokyo Metro / Toei Subway "Roppongi Station"
- Official site: https://www.tokyo-midtown.com/jp/
【Aoyama & Gaienmae Area】Tokyo Christmas Market in Meiji Jingu Gaien
Feel like you're in Europe while in Tokyo! The "Tokyo Christmas Market 2023", one of the largest Christmas markets in Japan, is to be held at Meiji Jingu Gaien. The 14m tall Christmas pyramid at the venue, which is one of the largest in the world and identical to the one at the "world's oldest" Christmas market in Dresden, is highly popular as a photo spot.
One of the themes for 2023 is "Ecology and health". The venue will be filled with shops selling Christmas candles and other goods, as well as traditional German cuisine, and be enveloped in warm illumination. The scale has expanded more than ever before, and the program is even more enriched. Enjoy strolling around and shopping as if you've landed in a fairy-tale country, with an organic beer or raw wine in hand.
- Location: 1-1 Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Meiji Jingu Gaien
- Event period: Scheduled for November 23 (Thu) - December 25 (Mon), 2023
- Event time: 11:00-21:00 (16:00-21:00 on the first day only)
- Nearest stations: JR "Shinanocho Station", Toei Subway "Kokuristu-kyogijo", Tokyo Metro "Aoyama Ichome Station" "Gaienmae Station"
- Official website: https://tokyochristmas.net/
【Oshiage Area】Tokyo Skytree Town® Dream Christmas
The world's tallest radio tower at 634m, 'Tokyo Skytree®', and the commercial facility 'Tokyo Solamachi®' at its base are dyed in the Christmas mood for 'Tokyo Skytree Town® Dream Christmas'.
There are plenty of photo spots with two types of Christmas limited lighting, the "Champagne Tree" that makes the Tokyo Skytree resemble a Christmas tree, and the "Candle Tree" resemble a candle, as well as illuminations spread throughout the town!
At the main spot "Sky Arena", a Christmas market where you can enjoy food and drink will be held. From "Solamachi Slope", the entrance of Solamachi, you can take a picture that captures the entire Tokyo Skytree.
- Location: 1-1-2, Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
- Event period:
【Tokyo Skytree Christmas Limited Lighting】November 9th to December 25th (excluding some dates)
【Christmas Market】November 9th to December 25th
- Event time:
【Tokyo Skytree Christmas Limited Lighting】17:30～22:00 (only on December 24th and 25th 17:30～24:00)
【Christmas Market】To be determined
- Nearest station: Tokyo Metro "Oshiage
- Official website: https://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/
Recommended New Year's Eve and Countdown Events in Tokyo in December
Lastly, let's introduce an event suitable for the end of the year. From New Year's Eve to New Year's Day, why not visit shrines and temples, participate in first shrine visits of the year, and experience a uniquely Japanese way of spending the New Year.
【Asakusa Area】First Shrine Visit at Senso-ji Temple
If you're spending New Year's in Tokyo, head to the city's oldest temple with nearly 1,400 years of history, 'Sensō-ji'.
Every year, more than 2.5 million worshippers visit, and as the evening of New Year's Eve passes, the temple grounds gradually fill with visitors waiting for the moment the year changes. The moment the 'New Year's Eve bell' is rung to announce the arrival of the New Year, a large cheer and applause arise from the worshippers, reaching a climax. There are also many stalls open all night around the Furaijinmon Gate (also known as Kaminarimon Gate) and Nakamise Street.
- Event period: [New Year's Great Prayer Meeting] Usually January 1st to January 7th
- Visiting hours: The temple grounds are open 24 hours for viewing
- Nearest station: Tokyo Metro / Toei Subway 'Asakusa Station'
- Official website: https://www.senso-ji.jp/
- If you're going to Asakusa for sightseeing, know this! Introducing the highlights and ways to enjoy Sensō-ji
【Shibuya Area】Countdown event in front of Shibuya Station
An annual countdown event that boasts one of the largest scales in the country, with over 100,000 participants. The roads around Shibuya Station, including the Scramble Crossing, become pedestrian paradises, and the countdown starts on the street vision 60 seconds before the New Year. From 10 seconds before, the visitors all read the numbers in unison, and at the same time as the New Year, the entire city becomes one and shouts "Happy New Year", creating a great excitement!
- Event period: Usually late night on December 31st
- Nearest station: "Shibuya Station" on various lines such as JR and Tokyo Metro
- A complete guide to recommended sightseeing, shopping spots, and classic events around Shibuya Station in Tokyo
Is every day a festival in Tokyo in December!?
In December, Tokyo is full of unique tourist activities, including illuminations and Christmas events. When traveling to Tokyo in winter, why not include the events introduced above in your itinerary?
- What is the average temperature in Tokyo in December? What kind of clothes are recommended?
- Recommended illumination events held in Tokyo in December
- Recommended Christmas events held in Tokyo in December
- Recommended New Year's Eve and Countdown Events in Tokyo in December
- Is every day a festival in Tokyo in December!?