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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogThe Best Christmas Market is in Yokohama, Japan!

The Best Christmas Market is in Yokohama, Japan!

Bianca BacheBianca Bache
Published Time
Posted on 
December 22, 2022

Yokohama, Japan has one of the best Christmas markets in Japan! When you usually think of Christmas in Japan, you’d probably think of Christmas gatherings with buckets of KFC, strawberry cake, and even Christmas pizza. Fun Christmas activities like outdoor skating rinks, pop-up light displays, and Christmas markets are a must!

Over the last few years, Christmas markets have blown up and become incredibly popular. But they aren’t quite what you think they may be! Keep reading to find out what makes Japanese Christmas markets unique, and why the Yokohama market is the best! 

Christmas market stall with beer sign in Yokohama, japan
Line up and get a taste of European and German-style food! Image via Shutterstock

Yokohama Christmas Market 

Although more and more Christmas markets pop up every year you won’t want to miss the festive Christmas markets in Yokohama, Japan. Located just south of Tokyo, Yokohama is a vibrant city with a rich history and plenty of holiday cheer.

From mid-November onward, many people flock to the city to experience the traditional German markets. Yes! You read that right, German Christmas markets! Japan is known for taking in a cultural tradition and putting a Japanese twist on it. But, the Yokohama Christmas market is truly unique in the way that it hardly caters to the “Japanese” twist!

History of the Yokohama Christmas Market 

The market is based on the traditional German Christmas markets. The German markets have a long history dating back to the Middle Ages. There are several reasons why the Yokohama Christmas Market is based on German Christmas markets.

One reason is that German Christmas markets have a long and rich tradition of celebrating the holiday season with food, drink, and festive decorations. The markets are also known for their beautiful handmade crafts, ornaments, and gifts, which are all central to the German Christmas market experience.

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Christmas tree in the middle of people in japan
You’ll find a towering Christmas tree at the center of the market. Image via Shutterstock

Another reason why the Yokohama Christmas Market is based on German Christmas markets is that Germany is home to some of the most famous and well-attended Christmas markets in the world.

The markets in cities like Dresden, Nuremberg, and Munich are world-renowned for their holiday cheer and festive atmosphere. The German Christmas is used as an inspiration in Japan. The Yokohama Christmas Market tries to offer visitors a similar experience and bring some of the magic of the German markets to Japan.

What to expect at Yokohama Christmas Market

The Yokohama Christmas Market is held in the heart of the city at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. This historic building, once used for storing imported goods, has been transformed into a bustling marketplace. Filled with stalls selling handmade crafts, seasonal decorations, and delicious food and drink.

At the Yokohama Christmas Market, you’ll find a wide variety of unique gifts and souvenirs. From hand-painted ceramics to handmade jewelry, there’s something for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

You’ll also find a range of tasty treats to enjoy as you shop, including hot cocoa, roasted chestnuts, and other holiday favorites. If you’re feeling brave, you can even try some of the more unusual Japanese treats on offer like nikuman (steamed buns filled with meat or vegetables).

People lining up to enter a christmas market
Make sure you buy tickets in advance to enter the Yokohama Christmas Market. Image via Shutterstock

In addition to the stalls selling gifts and food, the Yokohama market also features a variety of activities and entertainment. You can watch live performances by local musicians, and visit the photo booth to capture memories of your trip. Or take part in craft workshops to create your own holiday decorations! There’s also a Santa’s workshop where kids (and kids at heart) can make their own ornaments and other holiday crafts.

Beyond the Christmas market in Yokohama, Japan

One of the unique features of the Yokohama Christmas Market is its location in the heart of the city. Located just steps from the bustling Yokohama Station, the market is easy to access from anywhere in the city. You can spend the day shopping and enjoying the holiday festivities.

Then head out to explore the rest of Yokohama’s attractions. From the famous Cup Noodle Ramen Museum to the towering Yokohama Landmark Tower to get the most stunning view of Yokohama City. Make a day trip of it and even walk the streets of Yokohama Chinatown! There’s no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant city.

Yokohama, japan skyline of the Ferris wheel, redbrick house and Christmas tree
The Yokohama Christmas Market is held in the heart of the city at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. Image via Shutterstock

Yokohama, Japan Christmas illuminations 

Another great Christmas destination to visit in Yokohama is the Minato Mirai Christmas Illuminations, held in the Minato Mirai area. This modern waterfront area is known for its shopping and entertainment, and the Christmas illuminations add an extra layer of holiday cheer.

As you wander through the area you’ll be greeted by glistening illuminated streets with colorful lights. The display of lights starts from Yokohama Station towards Sakura Street which spans a total length of about 1.5 kilometers. 

Another illumination highlight is the Christmas Lights of the water display, held on the Yokohama Bay Bridge. This magical light show features a stunning display of illuminated Christmas trees and other holiday decorations, set against the backdrop of the city skyline.

It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy the beauty of Yokohama at night. Visit the Cosmo World amusement park, with its giant Ferris wheel and other rides for extra fun Christmas activities too! 

Christmas lights and illimitations wrapped around some trees
Tree and street illuminations create a warm glow in Yokohama and create a sense of holiday cheer. Image via Shutterstock

The Yokohama, Japan illuminations and Christmas Market is a beloved holiday tradition that brings the magic of the German Christmas markets to Japan. Exploring the winter wonderland of the Yokohama district is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season!

Whether you’re a local or a visitor to Yokohama, be sure to check out the Christmas market for a truly memorable experience! 

Would you like to visit Yokohama during Christmas? What is your must-see Yokohama attraction? Comment below!  

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Bianca Bache

Tokyo based writer that's very enthusiastic about snacks, treats and all things sweet!

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