Discover the unique Japanese Christmas market, Matsumoto style! Most know Christmas as a Western holiday with religious roots. Although Christmas was not traditionally observed in Japan in the past, today it is commonly celebrated across Japan, like it is worldwide. Every December, Matsumoto too is transformed into a Santa Claus workshop, dazzling everyone with its charming vision of the Christmas spirit!
Christmas in Japan
Christmas was first introduced to modern Japan from Western countries, many who still regard the holiday as an important religious tradition. Although not a religious holiday in Japan per se (only 2% of the Japanese population identifies as Christian), aspects of Christmas are celebrated by most people in Japan to varying degrees.
December 25th is not a public holiday in Japan (neither is “Boxing Day” on December 26th!). So many Japanese do not get the day off from work or school. Japanese are not obligated to exchange presents either, but many families do host a Christmas party and present gifts from “Santa”, especially when it makes their kids happy!
Christmas Markets in Japan
In modern times, Christmas markets have sprouted up all over most large cities in Japan, especially in Tokyo. Most of them draw inspiration from the traditional markets in Western countries.
Matsumoto being distinctly a rural town (for Japan!), offers its own unique version of the Christmas market.
Matsumoto Christmas Market
The city invites you to immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas! Every year for two days in December, the city’s antique district transforms into an authentic Christmas market. If you’re an antique lover, this provides some unique opportunities. However there’s more than just antiques. Many more surprises await discovery, which will be sure to bring out the true spirit of Christmas in just about everyone! Most of the objects presented come from Europe and America, which perfectly matches the ambiance!
An Original Christmas Tree!
A Christmas market wouldn’t be complete without its own Christmas tree! This year, the 2020 Matsumoto Christmas Market makes a very unique blending of Western and Japanese culture! Experience the originality of Hidari-Kiki Creation. You can find out more by clicking here.
The Night Market
After dusk, an ever more immersive atmosphere awaits you! Join the swelling crowd of locals, and partake in a great way to enjoy the illuminating spirit of Matsumoto!
A historic location
The gateway to the Christmas market is at the Otemon Masugata, where a great door once stood right next to Nawate Street. For history buffs interested in Matsumoto Castle, this was the original entryway to the Matsumoto Castle citadel. To learn more about the history of Matsumoto Castle, be sure to check out the following articles:
Matsumoto in Christmas colors
Christmas in Matsumoto does not end at the market gates. Many decorations and illuminations line the city streets. Besides the large Christmas tree inside the market, scattered around town are many more traditional Christmas trees (which is not difficult to imagine!) Countless small artistic (and less artistic) ornaments are left on the trees by locals.
You will be surprised how much the Japanese really love to celebrate Christmas!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us on the Welcome-Matsumoto team!
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