Illumination Time! Check out the Last of the Illuminations at Tokyo Dome.

Goal

I was on a date to the last of the romantic illuminations in Tokyo that was free. I’m all about that free, cheap, date life. 

Access

You can access this area through three different stations. 

One station is Kasuga which is located on the Toei Odeo Line. It’s a wonderful easy trip, and you’ll likely be able to sit most of the way. One of the originating stations is Shinjuku. 

The second station is Suidobashi which is on the Sobu/Chuo JR line as well the Mita Line. This is a great line to take if you have the JR tourist pass since all JR lines are free. 

The third station is Korakuen Station on the Marunochi Line. This also has a beginning station in Shinjuku. 

All three of the lines run throughout most of Tokyo. So, chances are you’ll be able to take a direct trip. 

Cost

The Tokyo Dome Illumination is completely free! And it’s a really high quality group of illuminations easily taking over 2 hours and involving a lot of walking if you want to see them all. 

The Illuminations

In 2020, there were six illuminations. While the illuminations change every year, the theme from 2019-2020 was Japanese culture.

The Sakura Tree

Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese. The cherry blossom signifies the official beginning of spring, and it’s a time to really enjoy the company of friends and family.

The Sakura tree illumination was a beautiful array of purple and pink lights that played a traditional Japanese song while we watched. 

I wanted to cry at how romantic it felt with my sakura latte in hand. 

This illumination captured the cherry blossom spirit, so I’d give it a 10 out of 10. The area can be a bit crowded during certain times. 

The music playing was incredible.

Yagura

This illumination housed a taiko drum that you could actually hit when it was open. When you hit the drum, the illumination changes colors and you can hear different sounds. 

This is a really great illumination for all ages.

Fun fact, Taiko drums are often used during festivals particularly while marching on top of floats. This type of festival is most common in August. 

I would give this illumination a 8/10. It is only open during certain hours and you must wait in line. 

Tanabata 

Tanabata is the name of holiday on July 7th known as the star festival.

This holiday originates from an old Chinese folklore legend where a master weave Orihime and a cow herder Hikoboshi fall in love. However falling in love causes them to neglect their responsibilities, and they are punished by separated. 

Only on July 7th, can the lovers reach each other across the galaxy on a bridge of magpies. Supposedly if it rains though, the lovers cannot reach each other and must wait another year. It’s a bittersweet story, and the illumination designed reflects this feeling. 

This is probably the biggest of the illuminations and very impressive as a result. The lights span all down the corridor and periodically a sort of wistful sounding Japanese song plays. The lights twinkle, and you can actually see lights flicker down towards the end symbolizing the lovers meeting again. 

This is a 10 out of 10 illumination. 

This illumination was so impressive.

Andon

The lanterns were beautiful on the champagne lit road.

Lanterns are generally used during all festivals to light up the night. Many lanterns tend to have stories on them to represent things. For instance, the festival in Ichinohe has cultural lanterns helping tell the story of the floats they have designed from scratch. 

The lanterns were gorgeous and very detailed at the illumination. I remember my significant other was impressed with the different stories and jokes on the lanterns. And he clearly felt they were very nostalgic.

As someone with little knowledge of old Japanese stories, some of the stuff was lost on me. But according to him the amount of work and detail that went into this part was incredibel.

This is a 10 out of 10 illumination. 

Mt. Fuji

The Mount Fuji illumination was really fun. It changed colors, and the shrine next to it was fun to pose with. Overall, it was a regular illumination. 

I would give it an 8 out of 10. 

Fujidana

The Fujidana illumination was my very favorite! I’m a really big flower fan, and the fujidana look just like wisteria. 

For those that don’t know, the wisteria season in spring/summer is really fun. It comes shortly after the cherry blossom season and marks the beginning of summer. It’s really amazing how they managed to capture the magic of this event in the middle of winter.

My picture didn’t really capture how beautiful it was. But it was fantastic. I only wish that I also had lavender ice cream while looking at it. 

This is a 10 out of 10 illumination. 

Final Rating

Overall, I would give this illumination set a 10 out of 10. These illuminations was FREE. And it was a really fun 2-3 hours walking around and looking at everything. 

Plus there were additional illuminations on the path.

Plus, the area is home to an amusement park, spa, restaurants, and Starbucks. I will definitely go back and see what they have next year. 

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