A few weeks ago we headed a bit out of Tokyo, to Yokohama. I’ve been wanting to see the ocean again and check out the all the shopping in the famous Red Brick Warehouses (Aka Renga Soko). Luckily the Christmas Market was held between the Warehouses so we could see everything in one place!
Yokohama is really easy to get to, and it’s still part of Tokyo Metropolis so you won’t see a distinct ‘end’ of Tokyo and a ‘beginning’ of Yokohama. To get there, take the Fukutoshin line from Shinjuku Sanchome station (about 45 mins, or quicker if you get an express). There are plenty of other transport options but this was the most direct for us.
Yokohama is famous for it’s waterfront, especially on a clear sunny day. It reminded me a bit of Wellington, but maybe because we were there on a rainy, windy day! Along the waterfront you can visit the Cup Noodles Museum, Cosmo World theme park (famous for it’s lit-up ferris wheel), various parks, Yokohama Marine Tower viewing deck, and the Red Brick Warehouses for shopping.
The German Christmas Market:
Before coming to Tokyo, I hadn’t heard about the obsession with German Christmas Markets! There were around 8-10 of these in Tokyo this year. The attraction must have something to do with a traditional European Christmas; spiced wine, snow, traditional food, Christmas music and cozy sweaters. These Christmas markets all seemed to offer giant hot pretzels, mulled wine, stollen cake and German sausages.
It was raining and crowded when we went in the evening, but the atmosphere was very romantic, cozy and charming. It was very dark (which I like) and the pretty lights made everything glow. There was plenty of Christmas music and decorations, and a giant tree where people queued up to ring a bell and take selfies. We had hot spiced cider and Amaretto hot chocolate – perfect to get us in that Christmas mood. For some reason I didn’t eat a giant pretzel, but I’ll remember next time.
I highly recommend going if you’re in Tokyo next December! The market is usually held every day and night in December, until the 25th.