Some years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Europe right before the holiday season was underway. One upside to this trip was experiencing the Christmas Markets that pop up in both major cities and small villages. These markets sell festive food and drink and all sorts of Christmas decorations. My suitcase coming back was nearly as full as my stomach after countless hours spent shopping and eating my way through the market. Years later, I still miss how those markets made the holidays come alive in a way that I rarely encounter in Japan. Luckily, they have started becoming popular here in the metropolis, so I have assembled this short guide to help any of my fellow Kanto residents trying to get into the holiday spirit.
Tokyo Christmas Market – Shinanomachi
We’ll start with the biggest offering: the Tokyo Christmas Market, located in this year in Meji Jingu Gaien Niko Niko Park. Usually held in Hibiya, the market moved this year due to construction at the usual location. This market is sponsored by the German Embassy and several German municipalities and business groups, so you know that it will come closest to Germany’s famous Christmas markets. German food, mulled wine, beer, plenty of Christmas decorations, and even a Christmas pyramid, which they imported directly from Germany to bring the recreation even closer to the real thing. It’s a must-visit during the lead-up to Christmas in Tokyo.
Note that entry requires a ticket that can be purchased online. Ticket prices vary depending on whether you visit during before December 23rd at 1,000 yen or after, which are 2,000 yen.
Dates: November 23 -December 25
Hours: 16:00-21:30 on November 23, 11:00-22:00
Where: Meiji Jingu Gaien Niko Niko Park
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market – Yokohama
The Red Brick Warehouse has been closed for renovations but will reopen in time for this event featuring a giant Christmas tree, wooden booths from Germany, and authentic food, drink, and decorations. This is probably the second-best Christmas Market after the one in Hibiya Park. Similar to the Tokyo Christmas Market, entry requires a ticket purchased online, but the price is a reasonable 500 yen. A perfect and festive option for our readers in Kanagawa.
Dates: November 24 -December 25
Where: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse 1-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Website : https://www.yokohama-akarenga.jp/christmas/
Roppongi Hills Christmas Market – Roppongi
This market is modeled on the market in Stuttgart, Germany, which is supposed to be the biggest Christmas Market of them all. This reproduction is relatively small, though, at just eight stands, but let’s keep an open mind. While this one isn’t as big as the other options on this list, it is free and nearby the amazing illuminations on Keyakizaka Street. This makes for a nice place to visit after work for a snack, a little shopping, and a stroll to take in the lights.
Dates: November 25 -December 25
Where: Roppongi Hills, 6-11-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tokyo Solamachi Christmas Market – Oshiage
I watched them set this up the other day while taking a friend from out of town to Tokyo Sky Tree. Set up on the 4th floor of the Sky Arena, this free event offers German food, beer, mulled wine, plenty of booths selling ornaments, and tons of Christmas decorations. This one is worth a visit for the number of illuminations by itself, plus the Sky Tree is there to visit as a bonus!
Dates: November 18-December 25
Where: Solamachi, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Website : https://www.tokyo-solamachi.jp/event/2230
Azabudai Hills Christmas Market – Kamiyacho
If you’re frequently in this area of Tokyo, you’ve probably been watching them put the finishing touches on Japan’s tallest high-rise for the last few months. It opens soon but there will be a Christmas Market to help make the new sprawling complex more festive in time for December. Details are still forthcoming, but if it is anything like the other things happening at this new building, it will have only the best food, drink, and gifts.
Dates: December 9 -December 25
Where: Azabudai Hills, 1-3 Azabudai, Minato, Tokyo
Website : https://www.azabudai-hills.com/whats_on/2023/11/0003.html