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12/23/2011

Christmas in Tokyo

    Hello everyone! It is already late December and Christmas light displays, costumes and Christmas cake advertisements are everywhere in Tokyo. Therefore I will be bringing you a customary post of the wonderful things I have been able to see and do during Christmas while in Japan! Although New year's (お正月) seems to be a bigger event in Japan than Christmas (i.e. New years = custom gift giving, new year obentos, staying up for the first sunrise of the year and visiting crowded temples). There are still multiple places that offer wonderful light displays to get you into the warm Christmas mood here in Tokyo. One of the places I visited was Tokyo Midtown's Starlight garden and various other Christmas displays within and around the large Roppongi department store. The main feature was a splendid field full of lights on display outside that played a captivating light show accompanied with epic music, color changes, steam and etc.

Photo-0051Starlight Garden

The garden light display at Midtown was hands down, one of the coolest Christmas light displays/shows I've seen. It was butt freezing outside, but we stayed out for about 20 minutes just viewing the show over and over. Within the department store there is also a Christmas tree decorated/made entriely out of different Santa Claus figurines. Adorably dubbed the 'Santa Tree'.

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There was also a "Dazzling Tree" on display outside, dazzling because it vigorously flickered its lights every so often almost giving one a delightful seizure.

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As well as sidewalks lined with decorated trees and wine glass light displays leading up to the starlight garden.

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Wine glass light displays

Inside Midtown, there were lots of restaurants, cafes and clothing stores. As well as a gingerbread house display.

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Gingerbread house on display inside Midtown

Also, because there were so many drool worthy patisseries inside midtown I couldn't resist and so we decided to eat some decadent cakes at a crowded store called Jean Paul Hevin.

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So delicious and popular some of the desserts were sold out by the time we got there

Regrettably, my camera battery died early that day and hence I am unable to post photos of the Midtown Christmas boot and etc that was also on display. However, if you are ever in the mood for shopping, yummies and beautiful lights during Christmas season while in Tokyo--then Tokyo Midtown is a place worth visiting.

   The day before Christmas eve I also  attended a Christmas party that took place all day on campus. I was one of the Christmas event organizers for the SISEC (an international student exchange/communications circle on Sophia) event and so I arrived early to help set up, organize and partake in the circle event. We had gingerbread house building contests, games, Santa contests, a gift exchange event and even a chocolate fountain!

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Gift table and Christmas Tree

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Chocolate fountain!

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One of the Gingerbread Houses a group made

Gingerbread houses were a really fun activity for both international students and Japanese students alike. When we first planned for the activity we were worried about the accessibility of all the materials normally used to build gingerbread houses in Japan. Most stores here sell items in small quantity and gingerbread or even graham crackers required going to an import store where it would only be available in small portions and be sold for way more than the costs for it in the states. Hence we made do with what was available (wafers and chocolate bars) and were relieved they turned out just as well!

There are many other things to do during Christmas in Japan (such as Christmas cake buffets) even when a world away and I am glad I was able to participate and see some remarkable ones. It is finally winter break here at Sophia and I am looking forward to a much needed break and rest as well as a trip to I will be taking to Nagano during break (which I hope to cover afterwards)! As well as the huge sales that take place during the first week in January, winter Comiket, and New Years celebrations while here! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I hope to share again real soon!

Comments

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Hi..........
Great stuff shared in this blog.
I like them.
Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays.:)

This is very cool. Thanks for sharing your many experiences!

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