Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Tokyo Midtown Illumination

Another of Tokyo’s famous light ups or Illuminations as they are called here, is at Tokyo Midtown.  Midtown is an enormous complex comprised of several buildings, one of which is the fifth tallest building in Japan, that house shops, offices, the Ritz-Carlton hotel, restaurants, cafes, a gallery and a garden area.  It really is an incredible place that is always busy and when it lights up for its annual Christmas illumination event, the area just overflows with people.

This year the event went off with a bang, literally, as the theme was the Big Bang, the creation of the universe in Tokyo Midtown’s Starlight Garden.  In the middle of the light-filled garden was the, “Vision Dome”, six-meters wide, covered in LEDS and surrounded by four large searchlights that sent beams high into the sky.  I thought it was pretty cool.  Lights were flying around that, to me anyway, looked light comets that left trails behind them and at twelve-minute intervals the whole displayed erupted into brilliant display of light that symbolized the birth of the cosmos.  The whole thing was very, very popular and very, very crowded.

It wasn’t only the creation of the universe.  In other areas you could find lights arranged to look like enormous champagne glasses and in other places, you could see the more traditional displays.  Overall it was a really nice display, very well-thought out in my opinion.

It wasn’t only the garden area that had something going.  The Plaza Area had a large Christmas tree which had the word, “welcome”, written on it in thirty languages.  It also had a clock that played music on the hour.  The clock also played Christmas songs at 5:00 pm which marked the turning on of the light in the garden.  And throughout Midtown lots of Christmas themed stuff was happening and the crowds were in doing their shopping for the big day.

Everywhere it was just people, people and more people.  While looking at the Starlight Garden was nice, it was hard to get decent pictures, as it was just so crowded and of course, everyone had a mobile phone or camera and they wanted their own pictures too.  However, as always with photography, if you persevere and are prepared to wait you can always get something nice.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to wait so I wasn’t able to get the shots I wanted.  As always though, there is next year to look forward to.  For those of you that are in Tokyo, there is still time to see it as the event goes through till Christmas day. You can see Tokyo Midtown’s website here.