Tokyo Dome is one of the places I rarely go due to a rivalry I have with their baseball team. I’m a supporter of the Hanshin Tigers, the mortal enemy of the Yomiuri Giants. The Giants’ home stadium is located at Tokyo Dome and the entire area is branded as Tokyo Dome City, but I usually have no need to go there. The amusement park is mostly for kids or for dates and there really isn’t much for me there. The only time of year that I do want to go there is in the Christmas season when they have a huge light display.
When you go to Tokyo Dome, most people arrive via Suidobashi Station. There is the Meets Port, a building that acts as a beacon to say that you are about to enter Tokyo Dome City. When you cross the big intersection in front of Meets Port, look for the signs that say “Tokyo Dome” and follow the escalators up. You will soon be behind Meets Port and at the Meets Port Garden. This is a great place to get started. They set up a very crazy display with various shapes. It is all lit with black lights so the colours stand out. It is very futuristic looking and I had fun taking dozens of photos there.
If you are looking to be efficient, the next area to visit is the “Attraction Area”. It is a small amusement park area where you can ride different rides. There is no entry fee throughout Tokyo Dome City but to ride the various rides, you do have to pay for each one individually. The Attraction Area calls out to you with a Luminous Tunnel. While technically in a different area, it is right next to the Attraction Area. It is a beautiful 80m tunnel with a dynamic lighting display. It is filled with triangles that can produce various colours. The colours even flow through the tunnel causing all of the girls to squeal in delight.
If you go to the main Attraction Area, you can check out the Mirror Cube and the Kaleidoscopic Dice. The Kaleidoscopic Dice is pretty cool with a set of orb lights inside a die that resembles a 20 sided die you might use in Dungeons and Dragons. The orbs inside change colours but so do the sides of the die. It was fun to watch it. The Mirror Cube was also pretty cool but you have to go inside to really enjoy it.
The Crystal Area is an area that you should visit on your way back to Suidobashi Station, but you do pass through parts of it on the way to La Qua. The Crystal Point is a small area right between the Crystal Avenue and La Qua shopping centre. There isn’t too much to see here but they placed LED lights around the trees to light them up in various colours. It looked very beautiful to see the different colours and the colours change continuously throughout the night.
La Qua was one of the main reasons I went to Tokyo Dome City. I saw pictures of the lights there and they looked very beautiful. When arriving from Tokyo Dome, you will instantly see the Milky Way display. It is a set of lit arches with stars inside. The stars are lit up in various colours of the rainbow and if you can magically be there when no one else is there, then you can see it look like a trippy tunnel of light. None of my photos were anywhere near good enough to showcase this display.
From there, I took a look at the main plaza. There is a “Glorious Chandelier” as well as a big tree next to it. The log ride is decorated with “Luminous Drop”, just a series of floating balls with lights in them. Then there is the “Wishing Forest”, a small rest area with heaters since it is outside. It is nothing but trees with a few lights on them. You can also see the “Jewelry Trees” near the entrance to the Milky Way display. The trees aren’t very spectacular. If they put Swarovski crystals on them, I’d be impressed. 😉
The main attraction at La Qua, at least for me, is the Galaxy Dome. I think it is an annual thing as I vaguely remember seeing it before. It is another dynamic display with a lot to see. Just make sure you go inside to enjoy the display.
As I returned to Suidobashi Station, I stopped off at the Crystal Area again. The first thing to notice is the huge Ultraman standing guard to the Crystal Avenue area. The entire area is called “Ultraman Road~TeNQxUltraman~”. Ultimately, there are only 2 things to note. At the top of the stairs near Tokyo Dome is a huge Ultraman with a flashy pyramid behind him. At the bottom of the stairs is the Crystal Avenue and the entire fountain has been converted into a beautiful light display. The lights appear to be our solar system with various stars dotting the area too.
Tokyo Dome City is a better place to visit than I had expected. There is a lot to see but not too much. I took about an hour to see everything and I could have spent a bit more time there. It is definitely a place that I will consider revisiting next Christmas, but only time will tell.
- Tokyo Dome City (Official Site – Japanese)
- Tokyo Dome City (Official Site – English)
- Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination (Official Site – Japanese Only)