It’s only November here in Tokyo, but Japan is gearing up for the holiday season! Before going to the Big Bang concert, I actually spent some time walking around Kora-kuen, which is the area right outside Tokyo Dome.
There’s a bunch of things to do, as it’s a shopping outlet with lots of different kinds of foods (Korean tofu stew, pizza, takoyaki, etc.) that are especially good for warming you up in the winter! There’s even a couple amusement park rides on the ground level, as well as some geometric installations. The area is actually not that big, but there’s so much packed in a little space that you can spend a good half-day just walking around!
Quick side-note: my aunt actually brought one of my school projects (Flat Stanley, anyone?) here about 10 years ago and took a picture with this same exact rollercoaster! She hadn’t ridden that rollercoaster since, and we decided to give it a try today. Do not be fooled, this was SO much scarier than it looked — I couldn’t even scream properly because the drop froze my face in place!!! Anyway, even though this was my first time being here, it felt weirdly nostalgic to be walking around and finally seeing in person what was in a picture from so long ago. It was a rainy and cloudy day back then, and it was a rainy and cloudy day when I visited too (though personally I love rainy weather)!
The days are getting shorter here, so it started getting dark at around 4:00-5:00 PM. But that meant the decorations were starting to be lit up, which livened up the whole atmosphere! And this is only one of the few illumination displays going on around Tokyo — this was just the first I’d seen, without expecting it. Other ones you can find usually during November-January:
– Rikugien Gardens (for an illumination of nature)
– Yomiuri Land (an amusement park somewhat further out from Tokyo)
– Roppongi Hills, Omotesando Hills, Ginza (all the big shopping outlets have great displays)
– Terraced rice fields (unique, though these are very FAR!!)
I’m not going home for the holidays, but Japan really seems to celebrate the holiday season with so much (possibly even more) zeal that it’s impossible anything but cheery! I don’t know what it is about lights, but I could’ve spent alllllllll evening just basking in those displays.