Christmas lights (known as illuminations in Japan) are a big deal in Tokyo and from November each Winter they begin to appear around the city in a range of displays. Having included them in my festive posts the last two years I felt obliged to continue the tradition so here are a couple of pictures from the ten minutes I spent at Shibuya Blue Cave 2019 (below) which stretched for about 800 metres between Shibuya Koen Dori Street and Yoyogi Park Keyaki Namiki. Approximately 600,000 blue LED lights were used to light up the avenue.
On the way home from my friend Marina’s leaving party in Kichijoji I also snapped a quick picture of Santa’s illuminated grotto (below) which is just outside the station.
Food and drink is an important part of the build up to the big day which is not big at all in Japan as it’s just a normal working day! We start with some drinks and first up is the Santa Boots Frappuccino (below) from Starbucks which is an overly expensive treat (¥740) made up of chocolate chips, chocolate sauce, and crushed potato chips topped off with white whipped cream, red chocolate bits, and an edible cookie straw.
Pepsi Sparkling Xmas (below) came out in November but I was on a diet (of sorts!) for the whole of that month so couldn’t try until December. Along with Fanta Socata (I’ve still got no idea what it’s meant to be!), Coca Cola Apple and some alcoholic chu-hi drinks I finally indulged having gone 66 days without! All were good but nothing amazing.
Oshiruko is basically a hot canned drink which traditionally appears at Winter time in Japan. All I’ll say is that I’ve tried it now so don’t have to do so again!
As for food, I certainly wouldn’t call these festive but given they were released in the last month or so they will be included in what is the the most blog-like of posts. This is a kurogoma (black sesame) steamed bun (below) which was ok but it’s no match for the regular ones!
Another black snack was this black choco-chip melon pan (below) bread bun thing.
Finally, Katsuya introduced the hugely filling and satisfying ramen croquette (below) and cutlet set meal. As well as mashed potato, the croquettes were filled with green onions, and fermented bamboo shoots which are popular ramen toppings.
A recent post about the Star Wars Bright Christmas in Marunouchi has already covered the combination of movie franchise and seasonal event.
Open until December 25th, the area is full of Japan-only exhibits mixed in with the regular Winter illuminations (below) which has made for a nice pleasant place to take an evening stroll.
In recent years Star Wars films have become a big part of the festive season and there was of course a new one released this year. That came out on December 20th but in terms of Christmas movies it has been a bumper month for me which began on the 1st day of the month when I watched ‘Let It Snow‘ (2019) and ‘Die Hard‘ (1988) and that’s been followed up with a long list of festive films totalling a whopping 26. (*) The full list is at the foot of this post for anyone interested! Nope, no-one!
We put up our first proper tree on December 1st too (I don’t think my 500 yen decorated tree from about a decade ago really counts!) and gradually decorated it (below) over the following seven days. Admittedly I wasn’t so keen to get the tree at first but was ultimately glad that we did.
Talking of trees, the one in the building where one of my schools is located had a Christmas tree which was perhaps a little overdecorated. When passing by I noticed one of the glass balls had the word fox on it. On realising that all the balls had probably been decorated with a message from a nearby school I decided to check out a few more and just above the fox ball was another one with the f-bomb written on it! I had to laugh and no I did not write them myself!
Here are a few more random Christmas-related photos I’ve taken around Tokyo in the last few weeks. Merry Christmas everyone!
Click here to read ‘Christmas 2018 in Tokyo’
Click here to read ‘Christmas 2017 In Tokyo’
Click here to read ‘Christmas 2016 In Tokyo’
Click here to read ‘Christmas 2015 In Tokyo’
(*) ‘Let It Snow‘ (2019), ‘Die Hard‘ (1988), ‘The Knight Before Christmas‘ (2019), ‘Noelle‘ (2019), ‘Klaus‘ (2019), ‘The Polar Express‘ (2004), ‘Santa Buddies‘ (2009), ‘Christmas 9 To 5‘ (2019), ‘Staging Christmas‘ (2019), ‘A Storybook Christmas‘ (2019), ‘The Christmas Chronicles‘ (2018), ‘Jingle All The Way‘ (1996), ‘Grounded For Christmas‘ (2019), ‘Office Christmas Party‘ (2016), ‘Nostalgic Christmas‘ (2019), ‘Christmas Trade‘ (2015), ‘Christmas Unleashed‘ (2019), ‘Jingle All The Way 2‘ (2014), ‘The Santa Clause‘ (1994), ‘Elf‘ (2003), ‘Home Alone‘ (1990), ‘A Very Vintage Christmas‘ (2019), ‘Help For The Holidays‘ (2012), ‘A Bad Mom’s Christmas‘ (2017), ‘Home Alone 2‘ (1992), ‘Love Actually‘ (2004).