Thanks to Meik Wiking’s 2016 bestseller, the Danish word ‘hygge’ became popular. Hygge is a useful word to describe that cosy feeling or moment. It has been described as “the art of creating intimacy,” “cocoa by candlelight” or, according to the author, essentially, anything that is defined by “togetherness, relaxation, indulgence, presence and contentment.” For the Danish, Christmas is hygge’s best season. Scandinavians have perfected the art of finding joy and comfort in some of the harshest months of the year with the least hours of sunlight. Nothing makes your heart more warm and fuzzy than seeing faces glowing in candlelight, smelling a hearty dish roasting in the oven, or snuggling with your loved one as you sip mulled wine.

Nothing like a wholesome beef stew to warm up your winter. At Lilla Dalarna

Nothing like a wholesome beef stew to warm up your winter. At Lilla Dalarna©Sherilyn Siy /JapanFor2

In the winter when the nights are the longest, Scandinavians brighten their surroundings with illuminated trees. Enjoy the same magic of illumination at Tokyo Midtown’s Starlight Garden 2018 in Roppongi. From November 13 to December 25 between 17:00 – 23:00, the expansive open area transforms into an enchanting wonderworld of stars, lit by some 190,000 bluish LED lights over a 2,000 square meter lawn and brightened by 100 shiny balloons set up to depict the birth of stars and their explosion into stardust. This year features special soap bubbles in which 450,000 floating globules are released to create a phenomenal three-dimensional effect that is different each time as they soar to the sky. This program repeats once every 12 minutes from the top of every hour, only from November 13 to December 16.

Starlight Garden 2018 at Tokyo Midtown (photo by Tokyo Midtown)

Starlight Garden 2018 at Tokyo Midtown (photo by Tokyo Midtown)©Tokyo Midtown /JapanFor2

Afterwards, stroll towards Roppongi crossing and escape to a little Swedish countryside home in the middle of Tokyo. Lilla Dalarna is hygge central. They have been dishing up authentic Nordic homemade dishes since 1979. Owner and chef Okubo Seiichi traveled to Sweden when he was 19 and spent 15 years cooking in the Scandinavian region. As you step inside Lilla Dalarna, you will be transported to the storybook cottage you imagined from childhood. Wood furniture, an antique phone, three tiered glass cupcake stand just like at grandma’s, Moomin souvenirs, a huge wrapped classic Swedish rye gourmet crispbread… you will want to take your time to savor all these details.

Sherilyn Siy /JapanFor2

But especially for the festive season, Lilla Dalarna pulls out all the stops with decorations to make your spirit merry and bright.

Lilla Dalarna offers the Swedish Traditional Christmas Course for ¥5,500 plus tax. You can enjoy a selection of Scandinavian favorites such as marinated herring, Nordic cheeses, ham, and sausages, Swedish meatballs in cream sauce, an assortment of homemade Nordic style bread, and capped with the classic Scandinavian Christmas dessert: rice pudding.

Nordic style homemade bread

Nordic style homemade bread©Sherilyn Siy /JapanFor2

Reservations are strongly recommended. Call or e-mail where they can take your inquiries in English.
Call: 03-3478-4690

The wonderful thing about Lilla Dalarna is that you can enjoy this hygge atmosphere with your special someone all year round. Outside the holidays, an à la carte lunch on regular days ranges from ¥900 to ¥1,300 and includes a salad bar and coffee or tea. Stop by anytime for a boost of hygge.

An ordinary lunch at Lilla Dalarna feels extra special.

An ordinary lunch at Lilla Dalarna feels extra special.©Sherilyn Siy /JapanFor2