New this week/end
Sekino Boroichi Market (Dec 9-10): This evening winter market is a great spot to peruse stalls, pick up antique souvenirs or just grab some toasty festival food on a chilly night.
Hanakawado Hakidaore-ichi Shoe Market (Dec 12-13): If you’re on the hunt for bargains on shoes, bags, scarves or accessories, head to Hanakawado Park where up to 40 retailers are selling all that and more at discounted prices.
The 47 Ronin Winter Festival (Dec 14): This festival commemorates the 47 ronin (or leaderless samurai) who avenged the death of their master. It’s a somber religious event followed by a tea ceremony, both taking place at Sengakuji temple.
Boroichi Market II (Dec 15-16): This market is over 400 years old and similar to the boroichi market (literally rag market) above, it sells antiques, used goods, handicrafts, food and more. It’s the largest flea market in Tokyo with over 700 vendors and 200,000 expected visitors. To make it that much more enticing, it goes out with a bang with fireworks.
It’s true that some of the winter illuminations will extend far beyond the holiday season up until the next (which is Valentine’s Day), but some of the more impressive and sparkly ones (like the Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi Hills and Omotesando Hills illuminations) will come to an end on Christmas Day. Miss the late-to-the-party crowds by going a few weeks early. All winter illumination details can be found here.
Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market
Recommended hotels located nearby
Shirokane, from ¥5,200
Gotanda, from ¥7,100
Shinagawa, from ¥6,050
Gotanda, from ¥7,260