Celebrate The Festive Season With These Christmas Markets In Japan | CoolJapan

It is again that time of the year — of dreamy festive lights and melodic Christmas cheers. While Japan does not really observe Christmas in quite the same way as the Western world, there is still a celebratory, festive air that can be felt throughout the major cities.

Christmas Markets in Japan Guide

Enjoy the unique atmosphere of Christmas markets in Japan during the winter months. (Photo from: PR Times)

While Christmas is not a public holiday or religious celebration in Japan, you will find many elements traditionally associated with this festive affair. Winter illuminations, Christmas decorations, and Christmas markets all contribute to the holiday spirit.

If you are visiting Japan during the year-end period, here are some popular Christmas markets that will definitely immerse you in a sparkly festive atmosphere!

1. Christmas Advent, Fukuoka Prefecture

Christmas Advent, Fukuoka Prefecture

The Christmas Market at Hakata Station Square promises a frolicking good time with rows of food and live performances. (Photo from: PR Times)

As it enters its 11th year, the Christmas celebrations in Fukuoka City get bigger and better. This year, the wintertime extravaganza is collectively called the "Christmas Advent". Spanning four weeks, it features Christmas markets, winter illuminations and live performances by local artists, transforming Fukuoka into a dazzling city of lights and festive cheer.

More than three Christmas markets will be held at different venues across the city.

For authentic European festive vibes, the beautifully illuminated JR Hakata Station Square hosts vendors offering traditional mulled wine, festive eats and the cutest Christmas gifts. The Tenjin Christmas Market at Fureai Plaza is decked like a winter fairy tale, captivating visitors with glittery Christmas decorations and eight trees.

Fukuoka Daimyo Garden City

Fukuoka Daimyo Garden City is set to shimmer with festive illuminations and a Christmas market. (Photo from: PR Times)

A fresh addition to the Christmas market lineup is Fukuoka Daimyo Garden City, Fukuoka’s newest landmark that unveiled its charm in early 2023. The outdoor grass lawn transforms into a lively Christmas market selling festive fare and trinkets, all under the captivating glow of champagne gold fairy lights.

While in Fukuoka, do not miss the various winter illuminations that light up the city’s nightscape. Stroll through the streets of Nakasu and bask in the alluring blue and gold LED lights of the Nakasu Hikarino Advent illumination.

Dates: 6 November to 25 December 2023, various times across venues.
Website: https://christmas-advent.jp/en/

2. Roppongi Hills Christmas Market, Tokyo

Roppongi Hills Christmas Market, Tokyo

Christmas at Roppongi Hills is a much-anticipated annual winter event in Tokyo. (Photo from: PR Times)

Inspired by the famous Christmas market in Stuttgart, Germany, the 17th Roppongi Hills Christmas Market is an event to look forward to. From gorgeous Christmas decorations to traditional German festive foods, this market promises all the frills without any of the winter chill.

Keyakizaka Street

Keyakizaka Street, lined with trees decorated with approximately 800,000 LED lights, is one of the most popular spots in Tokyo during winter. (Photo from: PR Times)

Located in the heart of Tokyo's bustling Roppongi district, the festive atmosphere can be felt from neighbouring Keyakizaka Street, where gorgeous white and blue illuminated trees line the sidewalks. As you make your way to Ooyane Plaza, the excitement intensifies as crowds gather at the popular German-style Christmas market to immerse themselves in the holiday atmosphere.

This year, there are a total of 10 stores selling an array of original German products. Savour authentic German flavours featuring traditional handmade hams, sausages, goulash, pretzels and other delectable German dishes.

German beer and traditional German dishes at the Roppongi Hills Christmas Market

Indulge in German beer and traditional German dishes at the Roppongi Hills Christmas Market. (Photo from: PR Times)

You can also shop to your heart’s delight with a selection of delightful Christmas goods that range from ornate Christmas trinkets and stunning snow globes with winter scenes to spice decorative crafts that will fill your space with wonderful scents.

Dates: 25 November to 25 December 2023, 11AM to 9PM.
Website: https://www.roppongihills.com/sp/christmas/2023/

3. Munich Christmas Market in Sapporo City, Hokkaido

Munich Christmas Market in Sapporo City, Hokkaido

A romantic scene of snow, lights and Christmas decor awaits visitors at the German-themed Munich Christmas Market. (Photo from: City of Sapporo)

Sapporo City is a well-known winter destination that attracts travellers who want to experience a snowy wonderland. Amidst the variety of exciting winter activities, one standout event not to be missed is the Munich Christmas Market!

This popular Christmas market has been held in Sapporo since 2002 as part of a sister city partnership with Munich, Germany. Throughout the month-long festival, Odori Park will transform into a festive haven.

More than 30 vendors will offer authentic German Christmas dishes and exquisite festive items. You can feast on hearty German meals, and take home handcrafted Christmas ornaments for cherished memories. Also, keep an eye out for Santa Claus, the iconic symbol of Christmas, who will appear every day for photo-taking opportunities.

Sapporo White Illumination

Get yourself some lovely Christmas ornaments to welcome the joyous festive season. (Photo from: City of Sapporo)

The Sapporo White Illumination is taking place concurrently, an event that takes pride in being the first illumination in Japan. Vibrant lights and meaningful symbolic elements put on a dazzling display at Odori Park, serving as a significant and brilliant beacon of light for a brighter future.

The Sapporo White Illumination also extends to other venues within the city, including Ekimae-dori, Minami-Ichijo-dori, Sapporo City Kita 3-jo Plaza, and Sapporo Station South Exit Station Square.

Dates: 22 November to 25 December 2023, various time schedules.
Website: https://www.sapporo.travel/en/event/event-list/munich_christmas_market/

4. Christmas Market in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Kanagawa Prefecture

Christmas Market in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, Kanagawa Prefecture

Entering its 14th year since it started in 2010, the Christmas Market in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse held this year is the largest event ever. (Photo from: PR Times)

Nestled in Yokohama City, the iconic red brick warehouse turns its beauty up a notch during the Christmas season. Winter brings forth many joyous events to this historic port, and at the forefront is the highly anticipated Christmas Market in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse.

There is an impressive number of shops selling all kinds of Christmas-related merchandise, food and beverages stalls, and even kitchen cars. Revel in a gastronomic line-up of familiar favourites such as grilled German sausages, roast beef stew, hot cocoa, and a delectable variety of fruit mulled wines.

This Christmas market is open during the day, but the magic really happens when night falls. A splendid real fir tree greets visitors at the main arena as they walk in. There is also a 50-metre-long illumination roof that graces the winter night sky with a dazzling display, and cute animals adorned in Christmas lights create a whimsical ambiance at the Illumination Garden.

Illumination Garden at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

The glorious Christmas decor and the beautiful Illumination Garden offer fantastic photo opportunities. (Photo from: PR Times)

The Christmas Market in Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse is a fantastic place for everyone to experience the magic of Christmas in Japan. For those who prefer exclusivity, private lounges are also available for reservation this year.

Dates: 24 November to 25 December 2023, various time schedules.
Website: https://www.yokohama-akarenga.jp/christmas/ (in Japanese)