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These Tokyo Holiday Lights Are Powered by Used Cooking Oil

  • 420,000 LED lights being powered along river with biodiesel
  • Organizers say the display is the first of its kind in Tokyo
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Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Organizers of an elaborate mid-winter light display running until January along the Meguro River in downtown Tokyo, a popular destination for the viewing of cherry blossoms in spring, are going off-grid as a way to limit harm to the environment.

Biodiesel fuel from used cooking oil collected from residents and restaurants in parts of the surrounding neighborhood is being used to power more than 420,000 LED lights along the river. In a nod to the blossoms that appear in late March, the lights are a pale pink.