On Christmas Eve Moon Tan and I went to have a look at the Christmas lights at Ebisu. There are about 8 or 9 different “illumination” spots scattered around Tokyo at Christmas time, and I’d received lots of recommendations from my students. Ebisu won out because it was the closest.
The lighting diplasy featured a massive Christmas tree flanked by smaller trees covered in lights. It was nice, and the place was swamped with Japanese teenagers in love or lust (Christmas is a romantic holiday over here, and all of the love hotels are reputedly booked out on Christmas eve. No room at the inn, indeed!).
The centrepiece of the whole display was a ghastly, hideous, but very expensive looking chandelier. There were seats arranged in a circle so that you could sit and watch the chandelier. It didn’t really do anything for us, unfortunately. On the other hand, I did learn that there’s a museum dedicated to Ebisu beer in the vicinity, so that might be worth a repeat visit.
After Ebisu, we headed over to nearby Shibuya to see what the yoof were doing. That place was going off. It seemed like every santa suit in Tokyo had found its way to the central intersection, and everyone wanted to be part of the Christmas cheer. There were santas on foot, santas on motorbikes and santas in taxis.
We went to the Starbucks that overlooks Shibuya’s main intersection (reputedly the busiest in the world, for those that didn’t know), and tried to order a coffee. Moon Tan wanted me to take a photo of the barrista’s shirt, which almost got us thrown out because apparently photography is forbidden at Starbucks.
We found a nice little Italian cafe that did a decent pasta, and it all felt very festive. A good Christmas eve was had by all.