ILLUMINATIONS

I still maintain that Autumn is my favourite season - to travel or just generally - but once the trees have shed their natural leaves bare, Tokyo drapes them in an entirely different kind of beauty for the Winter.

ROPPONGI ILLUMINATIONS | HARAJUKU & OMOTESANDO | TOKYO 2014

Roppongi Hills is yet another one of Tokyo's behemoth shopping centres, slash office space, but an absolutely gorgeous place. Impeccably clean - both in its architecture and literal cleanliness - and boasting a whole range of mid-to-high end restaurants, it's the place to go to impress on a date or if you're in the mood to browse polished, high-end designer stores. There was an adorable German/Dutch-themed Christmas market stall and special Christmas installations in the West Walk area but, mostly, it's just oogling at the scale.

I still don't quite understand Maman though. Yes, connotations of motherhood. Yes, Louise Bourgeois. But you cannot say that admiring the neat, clean-lined symmetrical vibe of the rest of the architecture and then turning to see a giant, looming, creepy spider isn't at least a little disconcerting. Though maybe that's the Australian childhood talking in me.

That is not to say that Omotesando or Harajuku are to be outdone. I always try to snap photos of Takeshita-dori but it's really one of those places you just need to experience, because most pictures cannot properly convey the energy of the place and the high pitched sound of shop assistants peddling their wares. I should have tried with a long exposure shot (assuming I could magically turn into a tripod). You'll have an even harder time snapping a photo of the illuminated Omotesando trees because they close the pedestrian bridge at night (which gives you a brilliant view of the entire street) for some reason - probably to stop a pileup on the narrow walkway. If you take a shot at crossing the street and casually stopping in the middle to snap both lines of trees, there's a kindly travel warden ushering you along before you can get your composition right - not the mention ruin said shot with his bright red flashing baton.

But, whether captured properly or not, this is Tokyo at night, at its most beautiful - five million fairylights and a dash of magic.

And you may even come across this dedicated girl lighting a whole walkway of electric candles. What can I say? Tokyo pays attention to the details, and always has.