With dazzling illuminations and non-stop Christmas carols, JR Hakata City is now offering a fun and authentic European Christmas experience. ‘Christmas markets in Hakata’ was initiated by a group of students with the desire to warm up winter in Fukuoka with some festivity. Noting that spring, summer and autumn already have popular festivals, they set out to fill the gap around Christmas time. Last year was a big success, so it’s back with more of everything!
Sixteen charming wooden stalls, many with non-Japanese staff, are selling Christmas themed food and crafts. Within the circle of stalls, there’s an area with chairs and tables, ideal to chill with a cup of hot wine and festival foods. Live performances by musicians and dancers begin on the hour between 6pm and 10pm.
To one side of the stage, stalls selling hot wine, beer, sausages and pizzas attract a hungry crowd. Amongst the most popular is the one serving mulled wine, which is served a special Hakata Christmas Market mugcup and is yours to keep. It’s spiced with cinnamon, and guaranteed to give you a warm glow. (yay!) For children they offer warm grape juice, so everyone’s happy! Next door exchange students from Germany serve savory currywurst. Order a side of Belgian fries and combined you have a hearty and warm European meal. Still hungry? Other stalls offer irresistibly sweet pastries and baked goods. Roll cakes, danishes and chestnut buns and German Stollen to name a few.
Finally, what’s Christmas without decorations and presents? Some stalls display an impressive array of toys, sweet-scented candles and incense. Most of the items are from Europe but some or the handiwork of local artists. The markets will run daily in front of JR Hakata Station until Christmas day, so check it out along with the beautiful illuminations.
• Nov. 21 (Fri.) ~ Dec. 25 (Thu.), Weekdays: 16:00 ~ 23:00, Weekend/Hol.: 12:00 ~ 23:00
• Hikari no Machi, JR Hakata City Ekimae Hiroba
• 3-9-5-203, Hakataeki-mae, Hakata-ku