It’s that time of year again… You’ve set the toilet seat warmer on 10 to keep Jack Frost from nipping at your nether parts, the local Starbucks is blasting “Last Christmas” by George Michael for the 53,347th time, and every fast-food chain and convenience store is touting its selection of fried chicken and Christmas cakes. Yes, we’ve officially hit the holidays in Tokyo! So what’s out there to do?
Recently, European style pop-up Christmas markets have become a thing around Greater Tokyo. Here you can enjoy shopping for last-minute curios and handmade trinkets while sipping on mulled wine and snacking on ginger cake. It’s definitely a good way to greet the season!
Roppongi Hills – Get your fix for ginger snaps and mulled wine while hanging out in this spawling entertainment complex. Plus there are plenty of regular shops and restaurants awaiting your patronage should you run out of Christmas cheer. Runs from November 11 ~ December 25th, 11 am ~10 pm. Web Map
Hibiya Park – If you’re searching for the most German-inspired marketplace in the Metropolis, this is it! Hibiya Park will transform into a very Deutschland Christmas for 10 days meaning you can find grüw wine, sausages, beer and of course SWEETS! Plenty of curios, decorations and more to plunk your yen down on as well. December 6th~25th, 11 am~10pm. Web Map
Yokohama Akarenga – Not to be outdone, the Red Brick Warehouse complex in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai district becomes the very epitome of what Christmas looks like in most people’s minds. From ornaments and lights to candies and hot wine (and sake), you’ll be walking in a winter wonderland around here. About a 10-minute walk from Minato-Mirai, Sakuragi-cho, or Bashamichi stations. Runs from November 25 ~ December 25th, 11am~10pm. Web Map
Unless you fancy the above mentioned fried chicken and Christmas cake that had become synonymous with “Xmas Japan Style”, you’ll want to check out our pics for places to enjoy more a more traditional menu for the season. Or perhaps you’re up to throwing together your own Christmas dinner together, you’ll need to check out a quick list of grocery stores to get those hard-to-find items from back home (I’m looking at you, cranberry sauce!)
While you might not exactly be “walking in a winter wonderland” around Tokyo during the holiday season, there are still plenty of Holiday-themed activities to get into:
Image: “Roppongi Hills Christmas Walk” – Jason L Gatewood