The tradition of a Christmas market began in Germany in 1393 and spread to all European cities. Usually, a lit-up town square set up wooden huts called huttes during the Christmas season from the end of November to the end of December. Japanese have also adopted this tradition recently and did so in a very festive manner with several Christmas markets being held in Tokyo from November. The markets throughout Tokyo are decorated with shiny illumination and a massive Christmas tree surrounded by shops selling Christmas goods and food stalls offering traditional hot food and drinks, similar to the European style. Below are some suggestions for best places in Tokyo that will help you to celebrate the Christmas season in the Tokyo Style!
*In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), various facilities around Tokyo may change their operating days or hours. In addition, some events have been canceled or postponed. As we only have limited information at the point of writing this article, please check the official facility or event websites for the latest updates and information.
- 1. Tokyo Christmas Market 2020 (Hibiya Park)
- 2. Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market 2020
- 3. Yebisu Garden Place 2020-2021
- 4. Roppongi Hills Christmas Market 2020
- 5. Roppongi Tokyo Midtown Winter Moments 2020-2021
- 6. Tokyo Skytree Town Christmas 2020
- 7. Akasaka Ark Hills Christmas 2020
- 8. Ikebukuro Christmas Market
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1. Tokyo Christmas Market 2020 (Hibiya Park)
The Tokyo Christmas Market, the biggest in Japan, was first held in Hibiya Park 6 years ago, then moved to Shiba Park in 2019. The organizers have announced the event will take place this year from December 4th to 25th, for three weeks in Hibiya Park. They will set up a line of 100 fully illuminated Christmas trees to create a real fairy tale atmosphere. In the center, will stand a 14m-tall Christmas pyramid imported from Dresden, Germany. The Tokyo Christmas Market is famous for the size and festive atmosphere of specially arranged beer gardens. Transparent plastic tents are erected to create an outdoor atmosphere, and you can choose from more than 100 different brands of beer from all over the world. If you look up, you can spot the glowing Tokyo tower in the night sky. You’ll no doubt be pleased to find an impressive array of food and drink stalls, scores of little kiosks selling various international holiday crafts, and entertaining musical performances, from rock and roll to classic. There will also be handicraft workshops and daily live performances by German and Japanese gospel groups. This year, a giant new candle display, with a donation booth, will be set up and dedicated to the people who were affected by the pandemic, including the frontline medical workers and people working in the industry.
Tokyo Christmas market 2020
December 4, 2020 – December 25 2020
Access 1 min walk from Onarimon Station or 15 min walk from JR Hamamatsucho Station
2. Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market 2020
This year will be the 11th year of the event at this beautiful historical spot along the shores of Yokohama Bay. The Yokohama Christmas Market became one of the biggest and most popular markets of its kind in Japan, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year. The popular Christmas Yokohama Market will also be organized in 2020, albeit with reservations and admission restrictions. There are hot wine (Gluhwein) and pretzels to be enjoyed as well as seasonal ornaments and beautiful illuminations. The illuminated walkway, like a tunnel with red and white lights, gives a true Christmas holiday feeling. In 2019 there was also an Art Rink ice skating rink and many live performances are usually planned, even Santa Claus may appear with some presents for the little children. The exact details of this year aren’t published yet, but it is certain you can experience an authentic German-style Christmas Market at the heart of Yokohama.
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market 2020
December 4, 2020 – December 25 2020
Access: 6 minutes walk from Bashamichi Station or Nihon Odori Station
3. Yebisu Garden Place 2020-2021
The old-European plaza-like Yebisu Garden Place also exhibits a traditional market during the Christmas season. It has been one of the longest-running winter illumination events in Tokyo for almost 20 years. In the front square, beautiful huts are selling a variety traditional Christmas goods and delicious food. The centerpiece is the biggest Baccarat crystal chandelier of 5m x 3m, which is beautifully decorated with over 8,000 crystal parts and 250 lights. The chandelier shines a romantic champagne-gold color over the plaza and together with the large Christmas tree in the centre, creates a festive atmosphere. At the time, only Baccarat crystal chandelier illumination is officially announced so far, worth seeing and taking a Christmassy picture!
Ebisu Garden Place Christmas Market 2020-2021
November 14, 2020 – January 11, 2021
Access: 5 minute walk from Ebisu Station
4. Roppongi Hills Christmas Market 2020
Roppongi Hills, a modern entertainment and shopping complex, has also been presenting the Christmas market for many years, in fact it is Tokyo’s oldest Christmas market. The whole event space represents the real German Christmas market in Stuttgart, with huts selling Christmas ornaments imported from Germany, as well authentic German food like sausages and stew. Honoring the German tradition, a huge 5 stages wooden pyramid pyramid is set up in the center, with artfully made dolls and animals rotating on the pyramid.
The 400 meter stretch of Keyakizaka street behind Roppongi Hills adds to the Christmas feeling with brilliant blue LEDs decorating the trees. It is a beautiful place to stroll along, with the city and Tokyo Tower in the backdrop. The Keyakizaka street illuminations are set to begin in early November and will run until December 25th (5 pm – 11 pm) this year.
Roppongi Hills Christmas Market 2020
Dates to be announced (usually late November to Christmas day)
Access: 5-10 minute walk from Roppongi Station
5. Roppongi Tokyo Midtown Winter Moments 2020-2021
Another spot in Roppongi, Tokyo Midtown, also holds the Christmas market on the first basement floor of the Galleria shopping zone. At the market they sell a wide range of Christmas products, from ornaments and tableware to seasonal sweets and gift items. But, here, the main attraction is the dreamy winter illumination outside. From the plaza area to the garden, the bright gold lights cast a warm glow over the walkway. The shining Snow Light Globe, with a height of about 3m, creates impressive light effects of falling snow and a flickering aurora. This year, you can also play and interact with the digital illumination, Step Light. An outdoor skate rink also open at the Grass Square Area, daily opened from 11am – 10pm.
Roppongi Tokyo Midtown Winter Moments 2020-2021
November 19th, 2020 to 28 February 2021
Access: directly connected with Roppongi Station
6. Tokyo Skytree Town Christmas 2020
The 634-meter Sky Tree Tower will light up beautifully in a different way for this special season. Inside Skytree-Town all will be lit up with an enchanting collection of 520,000 LED lights. At the food of the tower there will be a Christmas Market where you can enjoy some German beer and snacks while enjoying, with festive decorations, acapella performances, popular bands, a Christmas Lottery, and much more. Last year, at the Sky Arena, a beautiful 7.5-meter real fir tree was figuring as the official Christmas tree.
Tokyo Skytree Town Christmas 2020
November 6, 2020 – December 25, 2020
Access: In the front of Tokyo Sky Tree station and Oshiage Station
7. Akasaka Ark Hills Christmas 2020
Also this year, the Akasaka Ark Hill complex prepares a massive Christmas tree from Hokkaido and holds a Christmas Market at the main square during the month of December, all under white light illumination. Many different types of handicraft workshops will be organized during the event. The complex regularly organizes an antique flea Market every 4th Sunday and Marché, a food market, every Saturday. However, December is a special month, with the markets transformed in festive atmospheres. A Christmas flea market is held on the 2nd Sunday where they’ll be selling original Christmas goods that you cannot find any place else. And Marché mainly sells items like wine and sweets for Christmas along with other seasonal vegetable and fruits.
Akasaka Ark Hills Christmas 2020
November 20, 2020 – December 25, 2020
Access: short walk from Kamiyacho Station and Roppongi Itchome Station
8. Ikebukuro Christmas Market
The rather famous and long-running Tobu department store in Ikebukuro, opens for the Hokuo Yatai festival event every year, setting up seasonal shops with Scandinavian gift items for children and adults. This successful event continues to offer online shopping throughout the year. At the venue, you can find various rare products designed in Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden; wooden products, textile, accessories, vintage tableware, Scandinavian food, etc.
Christmas Market are always a great place to dive into the holiday spirit. Also this year, there will be many Christmas Markets held in Tokyo, albeit scaled down in some cases due to COVID-19. Despite the cold, you can bundle up and shop for food and gifts under the sparkly illumination. Japan has taken to this Western tradition with special delight, adding as much spirited festivity to the events in 2020 as can be imagined. Everywhere you go, you will hear and feel Happy Holidays!
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