For a Taste of a German Christmas, Visit Deutscher Weihnachtsmarkt in Osaka, Japan
Filled with German Christmas traditions, Christkindlmarkts are popular during the holidays and seem to find themselves popping up in many major cities across the western world. However I never expected to see one in Japan, so you can imagine that I was very surprised when one appeared in Osaka. Upon visiting I later learned that this is the only German Christmas market in all of Asia!
Colorful gingerbread-like houses began to appear in early November around the bottom of the famous Umeda Sky Building. Although the Umeda Sky Building is a popular tourist attraction, it is a bit out of the way for most normal foot traffic. Many more convenient locations for the Weihnachtmarkt come to mind, but maybe the location is due to the fact that the Umeda Sky Building’s 35th floor is home to the Consulate-General of Germany.
Regardless of location choice, there was plenty to see and do at Osaka’s Weihnachtsmarkt. From sipping hot glühwein in boot mugs and eating glücksschwein (literally meaning “lucky pig”, glücksschwein is marzipan shaped as pigs) to taking photographs of the Nativity or giant Christmas tree.
There are plenty of stalls selling traditional German crafts, as well as beautiful handmade sweets for the holidays.
While the market wasn’t very crowded during the day, at night it becomes packed with people. The area is lit up brightly with twinkling Christmas lights, and is probably where you’ll find the most Christmas cheer atmosphere in all of Osaka.
Admission is free, so if you haven’t been to visit the Umeda Sky Building, what better time than now to experience Germany in Japan!
1-1-88 Oyodo-naka, Kita-ku, Osaka City
[post by Beth]
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