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8 Great Christmas Markets in Japan

Whether you’re in the mood for hot wine, decorations or taking photos in front of a dramatic Christmas tree, the eight markets below, from each region of Japan, have got you covered.

By 5 min read

As we inch closer to the holiday season, many Japanese cityscapes become awash with lights as Christmas illuminations and events fill the cool evenings with cheer. Modeled almost exclusively off Germany’s famous Christmas Markets, the markets across Japan featured below are a festive addition to the season. With food and drink, performances, decorations for sale, and light shows, these markets are fun for the whole family. And if you are in the mood for a drink, most iterations of Christmas Markets in Japan have delicious hot wine for a cozy night out.

Read on for eight special markets across the country so that wherever you will be over the holidays, you can find one nearby.

1. Hokkaido: Munich Christmas Market (Sapporo)

Launched in 2002 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Sapporo and Munich’s sister city relationship, the Munich Christmas Market marries the sights and tastes of Germany with the atmosphere of Japan’s northernmost prefecture.

Situated in Odori Park in the shadow of the Sapporo TV Tower, festivities include plenty of shopping and food stalls, as well as live performances and workshops. Festival-goers heading over from late November will be able to enjoy the extra treat of the Sapporo White Illumination.

2-Odorinishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido - Map
Nov. 22 – Dec. 25, 2023
Time: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. 

2. Tohoku: Kosaka Christmas Market (Akita)

While the small town of Kosaka in Akita prefecture may not ring a bell, there will be lots sounding out at this year’s Christmas Market. Kosuka is considered to be the birthplace of Christmas in Japan, an honor rooted in German engineer Kurt Netto bringing over holiday traditions in the winter of 1873. To celebrate this historic moment, Kosaka lights up everything along Meiji Hyakunen Street, including buildings, reindeer and Santas.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the event and the 150th of Netto’s gift to Kosuka. Stop by to enjoy local hot wine, live music, fireworks and the town’s famed momobuta pork sausage.

Furudate-35-6 Kosakakozan, Kosaka, Kazuno District, Akita - Map
Dec. 9 – 16, 2023
Time: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

3. Kanto: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market (Kanagawa)

With the historic Red Brick Warehouse as its backdrop, the Yokohama Christmas Market is home to traditional Christmas goods, such as snow globes and ornaments, as well as delicious food and drink, including stollen and hot wine. Punctuating the scene is the giant Christmas tree measuring 10 meters tall which brilliantly lights up, casting its colorful illumination on the nearby red brick building.

Be sure to check out the Illumination Garden which includes animals and plants decorated in lights. In previous years, the event has also hosted a short fireworks display around 8 p.m. on Saturdays, so keep your eye on the time.

1-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa  - Map
Nov. 24 – Dec. 25, 2023 
Time: Nov. 25 – Dec. 8: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m./Dec. 9 – Dec. 25: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. 
Admission: ¥500, but elementary school-aged children and younger are free. 

4. Chubu: Nagoya Christmas Market (Aichi)

The Nagoya Christmas Market will be back for another year and plans to bring along its usual staples of good food, drink and entertainment. Grab some traditional German foods, such as sausages and stews, and hang around the robust fir Christmas tree at the center of the festivities.

You’ll also find Christmas goods imported from Europe to add a little holiday decor to your home. Adults can also pick up some hot wine (and kids a cup of hot chocolate) to soothe your body on the chilly December evenings. Kids and adults should also check out the many Santa statues on display.

3-65 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi - Map
Dec. 9 – 25, 2023
Weekdays: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m./Weekends and Christmas Day: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. 

5. Kansai: Osaka Christmas Market (Osaka)

Taking place in Osaka’s Tennoji Park, the Osaka Christmas Market is an annual event celebrating all things Christmas. From hot drinks, like wine and cocoa, to savory bites, such as sausage and soups, this event will be a hit for kids and adults alike.

With almost two dozen stalls and multiple Christmas trees decorated with lights of all colors, this Christmas market is a great way to bring in holiday cheer. Be sure to check out the toys imported from the town of Seiffen, renowned for its toy-making history.

5-55 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka - Map
Dec. 1 – 25, 2023
Time: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The event will be held at Tenshiba and Tenshiba i:na locations in Tennoji Park. 

6. Chugoku: Hiroshima German Christmas Market (Hiroshima)

Seeing that there was no annual Christmas market in Hiroshima, a long-term German resident of the city by the name of Stephan Ballin organized to launch the first iteration of the event in 2015. Running for almost a decade, the market returns to the city of peace under the Urban View Grand Tower.

On-site, you’ll find plenty of food options, including traditional German holiday fare, roasted nuts and maple treats. There will also be several live performances from solo artists and a children’s choir.

Urban View Grand Tower, 4-1 Kamihatchobori, Naka Ward, Hiroshima - Map
Dec. 15 – 17, 2023 
Time: 12 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 

7. Shikoku: Christmas Market in Kochi (Kochi)

Christmas Market in Kochi will be hosted in the city’s Central Park and hopes to bring the warmth of Stuttgart, Germany with it. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful marketplaces in Germany, Stuttgart serves as the model for Kochi with wooden stalls filled to the brim with warm foods, like fresh pasta and pastries, and fine craftsmanship by local artists.

Covered in a dazzling array of lights, this market draws in visitors of all ages to marvel at its 10-meter tall illuminated tower supporting over 50 cords of light that creates a colorful curtain over the celebrations.

1-11-27 Obiyamachi, Kochi - Map
Dec. 15 – 25, 2023
Weekdays: 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. / Weekends: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. 

8. Kyushu: Christmas Market in Hikari no Machi Hakata (Fukuoka)

Standing in the shadow of Kyushu’s largest travel hub, Hakata station, the Christmas Market in Hikaru no Machi Hakata will bring an array of food, drink, European-style holiday handicrafts and more to this year’s holidays. Be sure to grab some of the famous hot wine and churros and find a seat under the large illuminated tree.

While many of the events on this list have a real tree on display, this market instead includes a fully illuminated cone with several multicolored panels that compliment the station’s fantastic Christmas light display. Several performers will also hit the stage throughout the festival period, including solo artists and comedians.

1-1 Hakataekichuogai, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka - Map
Nov. 6 – Dec. 25, 2023
Weekdays: 4:45 p.m. – 11 p.m./Weekends: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. 
Are you planning to hit up any Christmas markets this year or have you been to any memorable ones? Tell us more in the comments below! 

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