In Tama City on the outskirts of Tokyo, if we say Christmas we only mean one thing: lights. A tradition now on its 18th year, Tama-Center has been lit up with Christmas lights since November 10, with the brilliant display available for visitors to enjoy until January 6, 2019.
The 2018 lights do not disappoint. Sprawling 400 meters from north to south, and 200 meters from east to west, the lighting installation adds up to 450,000 lights to entertain onlookers.
Sanrio characters performed a Christmas show on opening day, with a countdown to the switching on of lights heightening the anticipation of spectators.
The Tama-Center Christmas illuminations started in 2001, and has become a staple during the holiday season for the greater Tokyo region.
Visitors in 2017 exceeded 2.2 million over 59 days. Visitors were still crowding to get a glimpse of the elaborate light installations even as the holiday display drew to a close.
Overlooking the sea of fairy lights is a sumptuous Christmas tree, which this year was donated by Fujimi City in Nagano Prefecture.
There is also “The Aquarium of Light,” a 50-meter-long tunnel of lighting designed to look as though you are walking through an aquarium surrounded by glistening fish. It is truly an experience which transports your imagination to the bottom of the sea.
The 58 camphor trees lining the pedestrian promenade of Parthenon Boulevard are also decorated with a stunning illumination for all onlookers to enjoy.
Visitors are not the only ones excited about the event. Sanrio characters are as well! As soon as you step out of the train station, you will encounter a 3.5-meter-high illuminated Hello Kitty balloon welcoming visitors. It is a special feature of the 2018 installation.
The venue will not just be pleasing to the eyes. There will be concerts held throughout December, and Christmas carols to help visitors feel the spirit of the season.
Visitors will also be able to meet Hello Kitty in the flesh (or, should I say in the fur?) during the days scheduled for Sanrio parades.
For more information on the concerts and special events, you can contact 042-339-1111 (between 9.00 and 17.00) or the Tama City Tourist Information at 042-338-6867. You can also check the boxes below.
What are you waiting for? Will you be one of the visitors of Tama-Center illuminations this year?
Period: November 10, 29018, to January 6, 2019
Place: In front of Tama-Center Station, Parthenon Boulevard
Time: 16.30- 22.30; Sanrio characters will be illuminated until 21.30
How to get there: Keio Line, Odakyu Line, Tama Monorail to Tama-Center Station
Concert and Event Information
December 15: 17.00, Christmas Carols
December 16: 16.30, Ochiai Junior High School Brass Band “Winter Concert 2018”
December 23: 16.30 and 17.30, Nagayama Metropolitan High School Brass Band “Christmas Starlight Concert”
December 24: 17.30-22.30, “Ice Sculptures,” with performance from 15.30
Hello Kitty and Sanrio Characters Parade
Meeting Place: Sanrio Puroland Guest Center
November 30: 17.30-18.00
December 14: 17.30-18.00
December 21: 17.30-18.00
Note: In the event of rain, the event will take the shape of a dance for children on the third floor of Sanrio Puroland