Photo:Mie Kiri on Flickr

Yokohama Christmas Market

Throughout Tokyo you will be able to find small Christmas markets popping up around this time of the year, but none other attracts as many visitors as Yokohama’s Christmas Market. Located between Yokohama’s famous Red Brick Warehouses within its bay area, the Christmas market it is by far the best time excuse to visit Yokohama. Whether it is for the amazing atmosphere, do some Christmas shopping or just to enjoy some of the amazingly delicious seasonal snacks it is hard to resist the charm of Yokohama’s Christmas Market.

Photo: DF Hoffman on Flickr

The dozens of pine trees with their bright colored lights and countless decorations instantly let you know you are in the right place when you start approaching the plaza from the nearby stations. The first attraction you will see is the large outdoor ice skate ring named the “Art Rink” upon which each year a different artist portrays unique illuminations. For 2015-2016 the theme is set to be “Fruit Punch on the Ice” by the renowned artist Harapeko Megane. For just a minor admission fee listed below you can enjoy outdoor skating, which is quite a rare activity in Tokyo’s metropolitan area. The ice skate ring, however, opens after the Christmas market itself and from experience I must warn you that the later in December you go the busier it gets as more and more locals will have their own holidays towards the end of the year.

Photo: Yuichi Sakuraba on Flickr

The Christmas market itself consists of dozens of little huts made in a German-style, scattered across the plaza. Here you can pick up all-kinds of seasonal items and dishes, ranging from schnitzels to sausages and glühwein, mulled wine, to fruit cakes with marzipan. Although you will find it throughout the year, since the Japanese adore this circular spit cake, baumkuchen, is one of the absolute favorite amongst visitors. This Germanic flair is something locals truly enjoy about Christmas markets such as these and it surely succeeds at bringing its atmosphere to Japan.

Photo: Kumawo on Flickr

If you still need to do some Christmas shopping the surrounding Red Brick Warehouse shopping center is an amazing place to pick up some presents for friends and family. Featuring over a hundred shops including not only fashion and apparel but also beauty and home supplies, you will surely find the right gift.

Photo: Kazu Letokyoite

hen, how to get there and how much?

The Christmas market takes place in 2015 from Saturday, November 28th to Friday, December 25th at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Event Plaza, which can easily be accessed by taking the Minato Mirai Line to Bashamichi Station or JR Lines to Sakuragicho Station. There is no entrance fee for the Christmas market as it is part of the shopping area Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse.

The skate rink opens on Saturday, December 5th, 2015 until Saturday, February 21st, 2016 with a minor admission fee of 500 yen for adults, 400 yen for elementary & junior high school students or 300 yen for children under the age of 3. Additionally, if you would like to rent a pair of skates these are available for 500 yen.

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