Tokyo Christmas lights up-close

December 20, 2008 · Print This Article

Holiday lights, or “illumination” as they are referred to by Japanese, are big in Japan.  I still think of them just as Christmas lights myself.  I live right in one of the largest concentrations of lights in the city.  Shinjuku has the illuminated windows of the Odakyu Department Store, the random lights amongst the skyscrapers, and of course all the light displays on Shinjuku Southern Terrace and Takashimaya Department Store.  Thought I won’t admit it, I like them all.

I decided to only include close-up shots of the lights because I’ve developed the bad habit of not wanting to use my tripod.  That’s largely because my old tripod is not stable enough for my new DSLR kit.  Still, there is something much more personal about handholding shots, even of inanimate objects.

Of course couples are drawn to the lights, as can be seen in the above photo.  The lights throughout Tokyo are nice, and impressive.  However, I still find myself nostalgic for the neighborhood Christmas lights displays I saw growing up in the U.S.  I liked walking down a neighborhood street and seeing each house’s particular creative holiday light expression.  

Still, I’ll miss walking home and seeing the illuminated windows of the Odakyu Department Store over my shoulder once I leave Japan next year.  To get that view, go to Shinjuku station’s west exit, then walk up the pedestrian bridge and in front of Bic Camera you can find the best view.

An electric Tokyo Christmas couple in Shinjuku Gift-wrapped tree at Roppongi Hills Roppongi Hills was surrounded by original looking red lights, very nice touch
Aya up close to a circus seal in front of Takashimaya Shinjuku A pyramid of Christmas presents at Roppongi Hills Christmas tree contrasts with Shinjuku's south eastern neon
Santa delivers presents early in Okubo Eaves decorated with silver and gold in Shinjuku west-south passageway Decorations on a wall in Shinjuku station
Shinjuku Southern Terrace tree and penguin lights I really liked this series of Christmas decorations in Shinjuku station's west-south passageway A circus bear in front of Takashimaya in Shinjuku
One of the many light walls in the Shinjuku station west-south passageway Something out of Dr. Seuss in Shinjuku station west-south passageway Bulbous light at Takashimaya Shinjuku
Shinjuku station's west-south corridor is decorated in great detail A tall Christmas tree before Takashimaya Shinjuku A decorative light wall in Shinjuku's west-south passageway
No one disturbs this Christmas ball in Shinjuku station's west-south passageway It was popular to pose in front of this scene in the Shinjuku station west-south passageway  


9 Responses to “Tokyo Christmas lights up-close”

  1. on December 20th, 2008 11:20 AM

    I really like that shot or Roppongi Hills.

    What plug-in do you use for your pictures?


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Thanks Tom.

    That shot of Roppongi Hills is basically straight out of the camera, with only a tiny 1% histogram adjustment.

    By plugins, do you mean Photoshop plugins? I have almost no Photoshop skills actually!


  2. on December 20th, 2008 8:21 PM

    nice pics. i have to find time to go out and see the bright lights. this year end has been rather busy. ^^


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Thanks Ken. Metropolis just published a huge list of lights all around the Tokyo area.


  3. on December 21st, 2008 8:11 AM

    I’m sorry, I meant WordPress plugin. I’m considering making the switch.


    Jason Collin Reply:

    Ah, ok. For the photo gallery I use PhotoXhibit:

    I like it because it pulls photos right from Picassa, Flickr, etc. That way I don’t have to resize photos manually before uploading. It saves me one step in my work flow because Picassa automatically resizes photos for me with its uploader.

    WordPress has plenty of quirks still, even in its hugely revamped 2.7 version. I am trying out Squarespace for my new photography only site. I recommend giving them consideration along with WordPress.


  4. on October 6th, 2010 7:45 AM

    […] 3. A very Japanese Christmas. Close-up photography of Christmas in Tokyo by Jason Collin. […]

  5. on October 27th, 2010 4:41 PM

    our christmas lights this 2010 would be made up from light emitting diodes which does not generates so much heat*.”


    Jason Collin Reply:

    The change to LED Christmas lights is a good one. I can remember burning my fingers on the very large bulbs of many years ago.


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