Christmas Comes to the Westin

It’s Christmas Eve! This month, I went on a search for the best Christmas decorations in Tokyo. We all know Japan’s winter lights, called illuminations in Japanese, are outstanding, but they don’t have much to do with December 25th. I didn’t come across any nativity scenes but I did find one enchanting display in Ebisu.

The Westin Tokyo is a high-end hotel next to the popular Ebisu Garden Place. The hotel is often used for weddings and special banquets, and the rooms here are known to be pretty extraordinary with breathtaking views of Tokyo. For the festive season, they decked out their marble-floor lobby and grand staircase with so much Christmas cheer! The theme they went for this year was ‘Christmas Wonderland’, in celebration of the final months of the Heisei Period.

Like a scene out of the Nutcracker, the lobby had been transformed into a wondrous Christmas dream. It’s not everyday in Japan that you see a Christmas tree with presents underneath. There was even a gorgeous electric train set that did laps around the tree. The wooden nutcracker dolls dotted around the lobby reminded me of my favourite ballet; and the figurines, pine cones and baubles were all beautifully hand crafted. Like I always say, the Japanese are masters at paying attention to every detail!

I felt like this display would evoke nostalgic memories for people who grew up in western countries even if they didn’t have trees as grand as this one. And for the Japanese who have come to celebrate Christmas by eating KFC and a strawberry sponge cake, it gives them a glimpse into how others around the world decorate their home for this holiday season.

How about you? Do you put up any Christmas decorations in your home?

Westin Tokyo
Cosy fireplace corner
Westin TokyoWestin TokyoWestin TokyoWestin Tokyo
Double layer train set – one slow, one fast
Westin Tokyo
Naughty horse eating the tree
Westin TokyoWestin Tokyo
Christmas cake shop straight out of a fairytale
Westin Tokyo
Christmas-theme cakes
Westin TokyoWestin Tokyo

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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11 thoughts on “Christmas Comes to the Westin

    1. Thank you, Stuart! Japan is one of those countries that stays with you forever no matter where you are. So glad to hear my blog brings back good memories for you! Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year!


  1. Celia-san
    At least in Japan in December, snow decorations are part & parcel of the scene … not like in Cairns where we can only dream of a ‘white Xmas’. At present it’s rain, rain & more rain.


    1. No BBQs in the park, swimming or lounging around outside… a rainy Christmas/holiday season doesn’t sound like much fun at all! I hope it clears up by New Year’s Eve so you can enjoy the fireworks!!


  2. What a great display in the Westin. Decorations in America are pretty over the top generally, but I’ve never done a lot myself. Some lights on the front porch, a decorated evergreen tree inside and some flower arrangements. Everything that is taken out must be put away, so I find I do less every year!


    1. A few lights, trees and flower arrangements sounds like the perfect amount! My image of Christmas in America is a lot of extravagant house decorations. I recently heard that there’s a tradition there to decorate the trunk of your car as well. Does that happen in your area?


      1. I have never seen a decorated car trunk, but occasionally, I have seen wreaths attached to the front grill of the truck/car. Most folks do only a little bit of decorating. The photos that you see on the internet of houses dripping with lights and every square foot of the yard decorated, is very rare (thankfully!) – those houses cause traffic problems as cars slow down to gawk!

        Liked by 1 person

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