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Most people worldwide like to decorate for the holidays, and as I mentioned in another Christmas blog, the Japanese are no exception. Athough it’s not a Christian country, Japan still sprinkles its fair share of winged angels, etc. around the town for all to enjoy. Of course, there are also no shortage of Santa-themed displays with complimenting sleigh and reindeer, but is that all there is to it? I don’t think so! Let’s look at some of the more unusual lightshow creations that we can see during the holidays here. 

It’s all just a matter of perspective  12005351503_f9417083be_b

Photo by Manish Prabhune on Flickr

Both Tokyo Tower and the newer Sky Tree (pictured) are eyesores by day, awesome by night. With all the cool lighting arrangements possible, it’s no surprise that shutterbugs flock to both places to snap the best, most colorful holiday pics—I just found this one unique, beautiful and almost creepy, so I thought I’d share. 


It’s Got Dolphins, so it ain’t Moby Dick 

Photo by Spiegel on Flickr


I’m Guessing Cinderella’s Coach here, but I could be wrong

Photo by Spiegel on Flickr


OK, I think this puts any doubts about Cinderella to Rest, don’t you? 

Photo by Spiegel on Flickr

Maybe because of the lack of Christian and religious associations with Christmas, the Japanese feel free to play with the concept of illumination—Whatever the case, I enjoy it immensely every year. But one note on the above: I wouldn’t want to meet the owner of that giant high-heeled slipper!

 Could this be Tezuka Osamu’s Phoenix?

Photo by Spiegel on Flickr

Forget stories from abroad—the Japanese are not afraid to dip into their own well of creativity! I can’t be sure, but I’m fairly certain that the above image depicts the bird from Tezuka Osamu’s Hi no Tori (Phoenix) manga/anime series. The new year is a time of renewal, after all. 😉 

 Escaping from Tron? Or Entering The Matrix?


Photo by Takashi(aes256) on Flickr

Yes, I’m sure this is very romantic when you’re actually there, gazing upon your lover in the light of the pyramids. But that’s just it…pyramids? Highlighted bridges leading to a big spiral in the distance? Yeah, that could be a Christmas tree, or maybe it’s Master Control or something. Either way I feel like I’m in a science fiction movie, albeit a pretty one.


Snowflake “Tunnel of Love”


Photo by Guilhem Vellut on Flickr

 Um, yeah. The heading says it all. I really don’t have anything more to say about this, except that it’s a cute idea that nearly always works to enchant your partner and get everybody closer. I recommend trying it sometime. 😉 


 Anyone else thinking about Tokyo’s electric bill? 15623887819_07ea37dd77_b

Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson on Flickr

More than anything, this particular illumination reminds me of the nighttime runway at Narita airport. I wonder how much person-power it takes to get every single one of those lights placed and in sync, and when exactly they would do that, since I’m fairly sure that this is midtown Tokyo. Amazing!  And truthfully, a little overwhelming. 



Photo by maggie loves hopey on Flickr

OK, because you demanded it, I thought I would at least show you a “Christmas tree” so you can be assured that Christmas is acknowledged in Japan. What’s with the stacked boxes, you ask. Does that actually count as a Christmas tree? But all joking aside, there are more standard Christmas trees than I can count in the Tokyo area alone, each with piney green branches, cute ornaments and sparkly stars at the top.  Maybe next time I’ll do a blog about those. 😉 


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