While these three words do not seem to naturally group together they do embody our first Christmas living overseas as residents of Tokyo. As far as Christmas days go it has been different and fun.
I'm discovering the people in Tokyo know a thing or two about lights. We live in Odaiba which if I was to liken it to an Australian location it is a cross between Sydney's Darling Harbour and Olympic Park. It has several major shopping centres, is the home of Japan's largest show room (Tokyo Big Site), has Museums, Onsen, and several activity centres (games, theme-parks etc). It seems Odaiba is where Tokyoites go for a weekend wind-down. Of course this means on the weekend Odaiba is packed! It also means it is the epicentre of social activities, such as fireworks, and Christmas lights. Below are a few photos of the Christmas lights: the Rainbow Bridge (main road bridge into Odaiba), the celebratory tree, one of the commercial buildings, and of the Fuji Building steps.
Christmas Day isn't a public holiday in Japan which meant Shellie had a lecture at university. After the lecture we went out to Shinjuku, which is home to the worlds busiest train station and some of the largest shopping buildings I have ever seen. Below is a photo of Takashimaya, one of the largest shop in the region where you can pretty much by anything. We made a bee line for the 11th floor as that had the wool and fabrics Shellie wanted. Each other floor seemed to be dedicated to something different: clothing (floor for men, women, children), toys, hardware (men toys), home maintenance, you name it you could find it. Unsurprisingly, the B1 floor had a food court! We are finding food courts at the base level of most of the Japanese large shopping centres. While visiting the food court we bought up big for our Christmas dinner.
One of the restrictions placed on where we live is candles, which makes sense in many ways as you don't want flames burning within top floor apartments. Further as we are 'living light' in Tokyo we are not buying lots of stuff we would then have to resell/give away instead of shipping home. So we didn't have Christmas trees, decorations, and the like. Fortunately Santa provided some glow-sticks; just the thing to use as candles. We also had a bit of fun with them after dinner. Below are some photos from the end of our Christmas day; a dance with glow sticks capturing the fun we'd had on our first Christmas day overseas.