Inspired by one of the biggest and most traditional Christmas markets in the world, Sapporo currently offers the same atmosphere as its sister city Munich in Germany.
Christmas markets originated in Germany during the Middle Ages and have often been copied but rarely equaled as they have in Sapporo. Organizers say this year’s event is packed with performances from nativity plays to puppet theater. Shopping for original and creative souvenirs is made easy with dozens of stalls selling traditional Christmas gifts that are not mass-produced but handcrafted work of real quality.
From wood carved toys and nativity figurines to authentic German mulled wine and baked cinnamon apples, you're sure to find something you haven’t seen or tasted before. No need to be disappointed if you are not in Sapporo before the market shuts on December 24th – the equally spectacular “White Illumination” runs until February and has been hailed as the most beautiful winter illuminations in the world by several foreign travel guides. On the snow-covered Odori Park, dozens of landmarks and installations are glistening in streams of thousands of lights after dark. “Rivers of blue light,” flowing along the park with white cranes hovering above were just some of the attractions last year. Over the years the White Illumination has evolved and this year creators have reportedly prepared some experimental artwork.