The Christmas season has come to Tokyo. In addition to the countless winter lights throughout the city, Tokyo also has some Christmas markets to offer. In this article, I will thoroughly examine the German-style “Tokyo Christmas Market 2019”, held in Shiba Park close to Tokyo Tower, from a German perspective!
This year the “Tokyo Christmas Market” is for the first time held at a new venue: Shiba Park. That makes Tokyo Tower, which is close by and overlooks the venue, one of the highlights of this year’s Christmas market.
To get to the market, exit Onarimon Station at Exit A6 and you will find its entrance. Immediately as you arrive you will find some cute photo spots.
So is it the same as in good old Germany?
Tokyo Christmas Market is said to be “German-style”. When you enter the venue area and proceed further, you will see the same wooden booths selling crafts, Christmas decorations and sweets as there are at any Christmas market in Germany.
Still, there are some differences. For example, I have never seen a booth in Germany selling exclusively Russian matryoshka dolls – but I really enjoyed this international atmosphere in Tokyo a lot!
Walking further you’ll reach a large square with an enormous Christmas pyramid in the middle. This too is true German Christmas market style!
The square is a dining area where you can buy authentic “hot wine” (= mulled wine) and warm (!) beer, sausages, beef stew, seafood, and German traditional sweets. They have EVERYTHING.
Time to eat!
Same as at a German Christmas market, when you order a drink, you will pay the drink and deposit first. When you return your cup, the deposit will be returned, but if you like to keep your mug as a souvenir, you may also take it home. For this purpose, the event organizers put up a “mug washing area”. Well, I guess this kind of thoughtful way of organizing it is more Japanese-style.
Tokyo Christmas Market has a big tent where you can bring your food and enjoy it without freezing outside in the cold. Every night, they have a performance. When I went and had a lovely time enjoying live opera music.
The atmosphere (including some “drinking songs”) resembled more the vibes you get at the Oktoberfest… It was the first time for me to sing the drinking song “Ein Prosit” with a mug of mulled wine.
All in all, Tokyo Christmas Market was really crazy and lots of fun! More than being authentic, it was a new type of “Christmas market” with a mixture of various cultures. Something you can’t experience elsewhere. So please visit the “Tokyo Christmas Market 2019” and experience this colorful, unique atmosphere for yourself. I’m sure you will enjoy it!
Tokyo Christmas Market 2019
December 6 (Friday)-December 25 (Wednesday), 2019
Shiba Park (close to Onarimon Station)
Tokyo Tower Square
Fee: Free entry