Illumination

Magical Winter Illumination in Roppongi

This winter break I did a bit of traveling around Japan – to Tokyo, Osaka, and then Maibara. I spent Christmas Eve in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills witnessing a magical illumination. Earlier in the day we went to the Takashi Murakami Exhibit at the Mori Art Museum, and then spent the evening wandering around the lights, eating crepes, and listening to a concert by a Swedish singing group. Definitely the most unique Christmas I’ve ever had, but a perfect because of wonderful company.

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Winter Illumination at Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen Gardens

Winter “Illumination” is more popular in Japan than I have experienced anywhere else. Case and point, when I showed some students a video of Christmas decorations on houses, several of them shouted “ILLUMINATION”, but didn’t know “light”. I happened upon Kanazawa’s illumination at the Kenrokuen gardens by chance. I’ve been to the gardens once before in the summer, and it was nice to see the same sights with blankets of snow.

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