1. Roppingi Hills Christmas Market 2018
    Photo: Roppongi Hills Christmas Market
  2. Marunouchi Street Park illumination
    Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa
  3. Grand Hyatt Tokyo Christmas cakes 2023
    Photo: Grand Hyatt Tokyo

8 amazing ways to celebrate Christmas in Tokyo

Spending the holidays in Tokyo? Get into the Christmas spirit with some retail therapy, elaborate cakes and more

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

With Christmas just around the corner, Tokyo is in full holiday mode. The capital does a brilliant job of decorating the city with illuminations and towering Christmas trees as well as offering festive activities to get you into the holiday spirit.

Moreover, as Christmas Day isn’t a public holiday in Japan, stores and restaurants are still open for business – it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate with a festive lunch, dinner or even a last-minute shopping spree. 

If you’ve already tried celebrating Christmas the Japanese way – feasting on KFC chicken and strawberry shortcakes – we’ve got a few more things you can add to your list. 

RECOMMENDED: The most beautiful winter destinations in Japan

Season's greetings

  • Shopping

What’s Christmas without a few holiday markets to explore? Come winter, Tokyo plays host to several Christmas markets, many of which are German-themed, meaning you can get your fill of glühwein, gingerbread and all sorts of seasonal snacks. For all you last-minute Christmas shoppers, there are also plenty of trinkets and gifts on sale, too.

Go shopping for Christmas and New Year’s gifts
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa | Vintage Qoo Tokyo

4. Go shopping for Christmas and New Year’s gifts

Still looking for Christmas gifts? Or maybe you’d rather pick out a gift for yourself? Tokyo is a shopping paradise, and the holiday season is no exception. Visiting Tokyo’s department stores is a treat on its own just for the wonderful Christmas window displays. Start your shopping at one of Tokyo's many flagship stores, vintage designer boutiques or go hunting for discounts at these outlet malls near Tokyo. And don't miss out on the tasty treats from these amazing gourmet food stores.

  • Shopping
  • Pâtisseries

Having a strawberry shortcake during the holiday season may be a Japanese tradition, but so is buying one of the festive cakes available at this time of year. Tokyo’s bakeries and hotels have been baking up a storm with complex creations including traditional yule logs and cakes topped with extravagant decorations. We particularly enjoy the decadent mousse cakes from Grand Hyatt Tokyo and the vegan-friendly options from So Tarte.

Indulge in a decadent Christmas dinner
Photo: Trunk Hotel

6. Indulge in a decadent Christmas dinner

Most restaurants are still open on Christmas Day, so you’ll have the opportunity to dine out without the hassle of cooking and cleaning up a massive Christmas feast. Plus, many restaurants and hotels offer Christmas courses, so you know you’ll be getting the proper holiday treatment.

The tempting meal at Trunk Kitchen comes with either six or seven courses, with highlights being the potato potage served with caviar and the Japanese beef tenderloin with foie gras wrapped in a buttery pastry.

Alternatively, the Christmas eve lunch and dinner at The Peninsula Tokyo are accompanied by a joyous concert courtesy of the Tokyo Sinofonia Orchestra.


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