Tokyo events for Monday, December 18 to Sunday, December 24, 2023.
The weekend before Christmas is bound to be busy in Tokyo. You can expect the illuminations and markets to be heaving with couples and the KFC line to be longer than normal.
But if you want to avoid the crowds, then head to something completely different, like a traditional fair or alternative Christmas market. More below.
Xmas Marché at Hibiya Park
A sustainable Christmas market will set up its stalls for two days in Hibiya Park. The focus of this marche is handmade items, so you can find unique trinkets and gifts, as well as high-quality foods. There will also be a Christmas tree made of bamboo and solar circular lights.
Winter Solstice Festival
Also called the Tōji Matsuri or Tōjisai in Japanese, this festival takes place at both a shrine (Ana Hachinmangū) and a temple (Hōjōji) in the Nishi Waseda area. There is a large winter market with stalls selling winter produce (such as yuzu citrus) as well as hot food to keep you warm.
Kasukabe Hagoita Market
The Hagoita Market features a form of art traditionally sold at this time of year and for which Kasukabe is famous. The origin of the Hagoita is as a paddle-like racket for playing a badminton-like game called Hanetsuki. They are however more likely to be ornamental.
Nishiarai Daishi Temple – End of Year Festival
Adachi Ward’s Nishiarai Daishi temple will hold its Osame No Daishi end of year ‘closing’ festival to sell lucky items and food. The temple is one of three great temples of the Buzan branch of Shingon Buddhism in the Tokyo region.
Sensōji Temple Hagoita-Ichi Fair
The festival continues this week at Asakusa’s Sensōji — Tokyo’s oldest temple. Hagoita-Ichi Festivals are held every year’s end to sell the good luck charm hagoita, which are ornamental bats. They’re based on those used in a traditional New Year’s game of hanetsuki (a bit like badminton, apparently).
Yokohama Sparkling Twilight
A fireworks display that lasts for around 5 minutes will set off from Shinko Pier in Yokohama. A great viewing spot is Yamashita Park or Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Christmas Market.
Tokyo Tower Christmas Market
Enjoy the hallmarks of winter and Christmas at another of Tokyo’s beautiful Christmas markets. Held at the foot of Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Tower Christmas Market has all of the food, drinks, and trinkets that make these markets such a beautiful and memorable Christmas stop.