After a hiatus of a couple of years, Japan’s winter markets are back! Well, most of them. There are some cancelations and a few COVID-19 enforced restrictions on some of the others. Still, if you want to kick-off the holiday season with a bit of European flair, find that special handmade ornament, or just drink some steaming hot wine, read on for a round-up of some of the best Tokyo Christmas markets.

Tokyo Christmas Market

With a name like that, you’d expect it to be the Christmas market to beat all others—and it pretty much is, seeing as it has the backing of the German Tourism Association and the German Embassy. It is mostly a market for European food (German-style sausage and stews to name a few) and drink (like hot wine, cider, cocoa, beer and more), but there are also a few booths selling decor, gifts and winter gear.
Note that admission isn’t free as it has been in previous years. As a way to limit numbers at the venue, they’re selling tickets for ¥1,000 each. We’re not sure exactly how many tickets they have, but there’s a good chance this will sell out.

Roppongi Hills Christmas Market

Christmas market
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Along with a traditional Christmas market based on that of Stuttgart, you’ll find the special Christmas tree shop on the first floor of Roppongi Hills. On for the same duration as the Christmas market, that’s where you can buy wreaths, poinsettias, and of course, trees.

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And don’t forget to check out the illuminations! The Christmas market and tree shop are but a part of Roppongi Hills’ Christmas celebrations. Other highlights are illuminations around Roppongi Hills and Keyakizaka (the lovely tree-lined street nearby).

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market

Yokohama Red Brick Christmas Market
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This may not be in Tokyo, but Yokohama is just 60–90 minutes away, and it sure is picturesque. The Christmas Market in Yokohama Akarenga will be held from November 22nd to December 25th at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, which consists of some handsome old buildings at the edge of the bay.

Here you’ll find wooden stalls, a Christmas tree with classic lights and decorations (which will be lit up from 4 pm until closing), Christmas cake, baumkuchen (the circular spit cake that, for some reason, seems popular in Japan), more hot wine and stollen, premium beer, and yes—plenty of sausages. The market will also feature crafts workshops and meet-and-greet sessions with Santa Claus on certain dates. Plus, while not part of the Christmas Market, there’s also an ice rink in the same complex!

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Canceled markets in 2021

One of the biggest casualties of COVID-19 among winter markets is the Setagaya Boroichi. Despite COVID-19 cases dropping to tiny numbers in Tokyo, the organizers have decided to cancel both the December and January markets. Additionally, Tokyo Solamachi (the mall underneath Tokyo Skytree) is doing Christmas lights and a tree without a market.

While bargains are definitely to be had at Boroichi (and most likely at Yoyogi Park’s Christmas flea market), the other Christmas markets in Tokyo may only have select deals. However, all are free to enter and soak up the atmosphere, and some tasty seasonal snacks can be found on the cheap. If you have a favorite market that we missed, let us know on the community forum!

And be sure to check out our guide to winter illuminations in Tokyo.

This post is updated every year. Last update: December 2019.
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