Christmas Lights and Winter Illuminations in Yokohama 2017
In Japan, the streets are beautifully illuminated around Christmas time, starting from November and lasting through the New Year, ushering in a sparkling season. In Yokohama, too, tall Christmas trees are erected in popular tourist spots, and the glittering lights are accompanied by Christmas songs, spreading a Christmas mood. Some of these winter illuminations can be seen until Valentine’s Day or the Lunar New Year; so come to Yokohama this winter with your date, your family, or your friends, and experience the scintillating scenery unique to this time of year.
Minato Mirai 21 / Sakuragi-cho
This year’s event recreates the appearance of the Christmas Market held in Cologne, Germany! The 12-meter high genuine fir used as a Christmas tree is decked with myriad lights, and there is also a tunnel of light. In the rows of “Hutten,” or small wooden huts, which line the venue, you can find not only German trinkets and Christmas ornaments, but also hot wine, sausages, Stollen cake), and the other food and drink items without which no German Christmas would be complete!
The Sakata Seed Garden Square on the first floor of the Landmark Plaza has been decorated with an 8-meter high Christmas tree with ornaments of Peter Rabbit and his friends. You can take photos with Peter Rabbit and his companions inside the venue, and there are music events held on the weekends! What’s more, in the Dockyard Garden, you will find around 100,000 lights decorating a boat-shaped stone wall around 10 meters high and 29 meters wide!
Illumination times:7:00 a.m. - 12:00 midnight
*Dockyard Garden: 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. (Illumination times may vary according to the season)
*Garden Sound Party Live Event: Nov. 23 (Thu., holiday), Nov. 25 (Sat.), Nov. 26 (Sun.), Dec. 2 (Sat.), Dec. 3 (Sun.), Dec. 9 (Sat.), Dec. 10 (Sun.), Dec. 25 (Mon.)
The front of the Wishing Star Christmas Tree which stands in the first floor Grand Galleria is covered with lights which have been programmed to create various different images, resulting in an ever-evolving illuminated Christmas tree. In tandem with the Christmas decorations, based on the theme of stars, and the romantic lights which have blue as their underlying tone, a gorgeous show of light and sound unfolds which is sure to make you happy.
This year, the decorations have spread to encompass Yo-yo Square, between Landmark Plaza and Queen’s Square, as well as Grand Mall Park. The lights in three colors, blue, champagne gold, and white, which vividly illuminate the rows of zelkova trees, form a beautiful scene for you to enjoy. With around 230,000 LED lights, this is one of the largest displays of Christmas lights in the Minato Mirai area.
This year’s light display, on the theme of “Mickey Mouse and friends,” is now in place throughout Queen’s Square Yokohama. The 12-meter high Christmas tree on the second floor of the Queen Mall puts on a show of light and sound (lasting around five minutes) five times each day, giving the surroundings a magical atmosphere. You will also find illuminated decorations featuring Mickey Mouse and friends in the entrance and the Queen’s Park, adding to the festive mood even further.
Event dates:Nov. 7 (Tue.) to Dec. 25 (Mon.), 2017
*Light displays other than Christmas tree: until Feb. 14 (Wed.), 2018
Illumination times: Tree: 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Illuminations: 4:00 p.m. - 12:00 midnight (*Times differ in some locations)
*Show times: Five times a day, around five minutes Locations: Queen’s Square Yokohama: Queen Mall 2F, entrance, Queen’s Park
“Green” takes on the leading role this year, bringing you a unique Christmas filled with the vitality and warmth of plants and the experience of healing moments. The 3.5-meter Christmas tree, the principal attraction, is made up of highly individual plants brought together from seven different plant shops and put together entirely by hand. Together with the impressive 1.5-meter wreath and signboards formed by whimsical marquee lights, these create a highly dynamic green Christmas photo spot. In addition, Christmas markets and workshops dedicated to the theme “green” are held each weekend. What’s more, a “Christmas special campaign,” which gives you discounts at each store, is being held during this period.
The eleventh such event, centered on the popular Pukarisanbashi Pier location, has expanded to include the PACIFICO Yokohama Entrance Flower Beds this year, as well as the Queen Mall Bridge, the Ocean-side Deck on the second floor of the Exhibition Hall, and the Grand Staircase in front of the pier, bringing the total number of venues to four. At the Pukarisanbashi Pier, the wooden decks in seven different colors which emerge from the sea and the terminal building clothed in champagne gold light create a magical evening.
Locations:Around PACIFICO Yokohama (Queen Mall Bridge, Pukarisanbashi Pier, Entrance Flower Beds, Exhibition Hall 2F Ocean-side Deck)
This year’s Christmas lights at the Sail Training Ship NIPPON MARU start on December 3 (Sun.) In addition to the usual colored light bulbs strung from bow to stern, the bow also features decorations this year. The illuminated NIPPON MARU and the night scenery of Minato Mirai make a highly recommended spot for photos. There are also Christmas events held on December 23 and 24! The interior of the ship is open to visitors during the daytime only, and there is an entrance fee.
The giant Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris wheel, which was newly-equipped with full-color LEDs last year, creates delicate and complex light displays, including the launch and gradual drift to earth of fireworks, or the bold, flowing tones of a kaleidoscope. During the winter period, the usual green lighting of the Ferris wheel changes to pinkish red, adding to the Christmas mood. Pre-booked tickets are needed to ride the Ferris wheel on December 23, 24, and 25.
Illumination times:Sunset - around 12:00 midnight
*Light shows lasting around 6 minutes take place on the hour and at 15, 30, and 45 minutes past the hour from lighting-up time onwards.
10. Minato Mirai 21 area TOWERS Milight 2017 - Illumination of all the office buildings of Minato Mirai 21
In this event, which lasts for just one day, all the office buildings in the Minato Mirai 21 area come together to turn the entire district into a single illuminated display. This year’s event will be held right before Christmas, on December 22 (Fri.). Each year, this illumination of every building, which has become a Christmas season tradition, draws a large crowd of photography enthusiasts and visitors to the area. Don’t miss this once-a-year chance to enjoy the glittering night scenery.
Motomachi / Yamate / Chinatown / Yamashita Park
The classic and modern illuminated decorations featuring the soft tones of light bulbs bathe this 600-meter street in light. As well as the Twinkle Christmas Live Event, held each weekend in December, a London bus and green Santa will make their appearance between December 21 and 25! You can continue to enjoy the Winter Illuminations between December 26 and the end of February.
Eight Western-style buildings on the Yamate Bluff, an area which retains the vestiges of its past as a foreign settlement, introduce Christmas in eight different countries. You can experience Christmas around the world through Christmas decorations, concerts, workshops, and more. As well as the lighting which illuminates each building from sunset (until December 31), the Candle Garden event, held during just one night in the Yamate Italian Garden, envelops the garden in a magical candlelit atmosphere. The interiors of the buildings are open to visitors during the daytime only.
Illumination times: Sunset - 11:00 p.m.
* Visits to the interiors: 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays)
Locations: Bluff No. 111, British House Yokohama, Bluff No. 234, Ehrismann Residence, Berrick Hall, Home of a Diplomat, Bluff No. 18, Bluff No. 68 (Yamate 68 Ban-Kan)
Christmas lights are on display again this year in Yamate’s America Yama Park. Besides the main Christmas tree, decorated in pink light, and a light tunnel and staircase, the rows of trees are also illuminated, enveloping the entire park in a gentle glow. You can enjoy the night scenery from the park, which includes views of the Marine Tower and Bay Bridge, at the same time as the lights.
In China, the New Year under the lunar calendar is known as the “Spring Festival,” and magnificent celebrations are customary. In Yokohama Chinatown, too, a Spring Festival introducing Chinese traditional culture, such as lion and dragon dances, parades in imperial dress, and so on is held from February 16 to March 2. In the Chinese New Year Lanterns event which celebrates this Spring Festival, lanterns made of paper and other materials put on a gorgeous illuminated display. This year, the principal lantern, in the form of a dragon 80 meters long, makes its appearance on the main street of Chinatown.
At Yokohama Marine Tower, stardust illuminations spill from top to bottom of the tower’s center, just like a shower of falling stars. Moreover, a fantastic space, “HIKARI GARDEN,” has been created in Marine Tower Square, based on three different types of light, “sunlight,” “light from lighthouses,” and “light reflected on the surface of the sea.” Capture one of this winter’s memories by taking a photo together with these illuminations!
Nihon Odori Street was the first Western-style street in Japan. Even today, this elegant street is lined with historic buildings. The rows of gingko trees which line the street and which are among the best-known sights in Yokohama are decorated with lights and illuminated Christmassy objects, creating a pathway of light which leads to the sea.
Kannai / Bashamichi / Isezakicho
In this event, which is being held for the 15th time, lights in the form of snow crystals and geometric shapes decorate Isezaki Mall. Around 70,000 LED lights form colorful illuminated objects which spread their radiance all around. The event continues until the end of January, so you can enjoy shopping at the illuminated, wintry Isezaki Mall from Christmas to New Year holidays.
Around Yokohama Station
A new illuminated display has come to Yokohama Station East Exit’s Hama Terrace this year! Experience for yourself a world in which it seems that myriad stars have been scattered everywhere. “Shooting stars,” which appear in the night sky at irregular intervals, make the mood even more dramatic. In addition, illuminated objects of the Moon have been installed around the venue, allowing you to take the fantastic and photogenic pictures you would expect of Christmas light displays.
Locations:Yokohama Station East Exit, Hama Terrace (Sky Building/Yokohama Shintoshi Building 2F Pedestrian Deck)
A “light curtain” appears on the walls of Yokohama Takashimaya, Sotetsu Joinus, and Yokohama More’s, as if to enclose the traffic circle in front of Yokohama Station West Exit. What’s more, the sidewalk in front of the station’s West Exit has become an “arcade of light,” as though it were connecting the two ends. In addition, illuminated objects have been installed in various places this year, and a performance of light and sound enlivens Yokohama Station West Exit again. The riverbanks around the West Exit are also illuminated.
Locations:Around the traffic circle in front of Yokohama Station West Exit, around the square in front of Yokohama Vivre
The “World Trip” project, which introduces lifestyles in different countries and cities around the world, is held at the Yokohama Bay Quarter throughout the year. The theme of the fifth stage, which takes place during the Christmas season, is Finland, the home of Santa Claus. The interior of the building is decked with decorations inspired by the idea of a “Christmas village.” Besides a live fir tree, 8 meters high, which is in place throughout this period, various events are also held.
Shin-Yokohama / northern area
Yokohama Zoological Gardens “ZOORASIA” is holding a Christmas event again this year! Gorgeous Christmas trees and illuminations are in place at the main gate and in front of the Aussie Hill Grill Restaurant. In addition, each weekend in December, reindeer and alpacas make their appearance, and you can take a photo together with them in front of the Christmas tree as a souvenir. Come and visit with your family!
At YOKOHAMA HAKKEIJIMA SEA PARADISE, dolphins put on a magical night show, “Dolphins, the Bringers of Happiness - The Colors of Love,” while the most popular attractions are magnificently illuminated, bringing color to the night! You can also enjoy a Seapara original fireworks display, “Christmas fireworks symphony,” with its synchronized fireworks and music, held only on December 23 and 24.
The theme of this year’s Christmas lights is “Snow Fantasy Christmas.” The moving lights, which project images such as snow crystals and Christmas wreaths, move freely around the giant tree in the center of the square. In addition, the champagne gold lighting of the ceiling and walls seems to envelop everyone present, leading them into a shining, magical space.
Locations:Mitsui Outlet Park Yokohama Bayside: Whale Fountain Plaza
24.Kanazawa Zoological Gardens Shining Kanazawa Christmas - enjoy projection mapping even in the daytime
The projection mapping inside the tunnels of Kanazawa Zoological Gardens can be enjoyed whenever the zoo is open, even in the daytime. In addition, Christmas-themed decorations will be put up around the zoo during this period. Enjoy Christmas at Kanazawa Zoological Gardens, which are approaching their 35th anniversary.
HIGASHI-TOTSUKA Music Light - a Collaboration of Music and Light is taking place for the third time this year. At this year’s Music Light, as well as a “Collaboration of Music, Light, and Video,” which makes use of the “Morella vision” in Morella Park, there are plans to accept requests for music to accompany the illuminations, and to hold an event to make Christmas trees and wreaths. We hope to see you there!