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Spend Your Christmas in Asia at These Magical Destinations

Christmas in Tokyo, Japan: Shiodome Caretta in Minato, Tokyo
Christmas in Asia: Shiodome Caretta in Tokyo (image via @firenzeclub, Instagram)

Asia often gets overlooked as a Christmas destination since some of Asia’s countries don’t celebrate Christmas. However, that doesn’t mean that there is a lack of holiday cheer! This year, buck tradition and make your way to an Asian country like Japan or Korea to take in the bright lights and snowy terrain.

Spend Christmas in Asia at These Magical Destinations:

Christmas in Tokyo, Japan: Yoyogi Park’s ‘Ao No Dokutsu’ in Shibuya

Spend Christmas in Asia: Christmas in Japan
Spend Christmas in Asia: Yoyogi Park’s Ao No Dokutsu in Tokyo

It’s a blue Christmas in Tokyo, Japan! Head to Shibuya’s Yoyogi Park, which becomes beautifully illuminated with stunning lights during Christmas. It’s guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. The light show, locally called ‘Ao No Dokutsu‘ (a.k.a. ‘Blue Cave,’), is one of the most beautiful Christmas events in Asia and a great way to unwind after all that Christmas shopping.

  • When: November – December (exact dates change yearly)
  • Where: Yoyogi Park, Shibuya District, Tokyo
  • How to Get There: Take the train to either the Shibuya Station, Harajuku Station, or Meiji-jingumae Station

Christmas in Tokyo, Japan: Shiodome Caretta in Minato, Tokyo

Spend Christmas in Asia: Shidome Caretta
Spend Christmas in Asia: Shidome Caretta in Tokyo

Shiodome’s Caretta Illumination is a brilliant blue light exhibition worth catching this Christmas season. Take an easy stroll through the lights and feel as if you’re wandering through the stars. Stop to admire the Christmas trees and enjoy the 8-minute long holiday light show!

  • When: November – February (exact dates change yearly)
  • Where: 1 Chome-8-2 Higashishinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  • How to Get There: Take the train until Shiodome Metro Station (Exit 6)

Christmas in Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo Disneyland Fantasyland (Gifts of Christmas)

Christmas in Asia: Christmas in Japan
Spend Christmas in Asia: Tokyo Disneyland (image via Ricky Brigante, flickr)

We can’t talk about Christmas in Japan without mentioning Tokyo Disneyland. For two weeks each year, the happiest place on earth gets into the Christmas spirit. During the Gift of Christmas, the park is transformed into a holiday wonderland. Head over to take in Christmas shows, performances, and special events. Be sure not to miss the giant Christmas tree! This festival is a treat for families and Disney fans. 

  • When: November – December (exact dates change yearly)
  • Where: Tokyo Disneyland (1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan)
  • How to Get There: By bus, ~35 minutes from Tokyo Station or ~50 minutes from Shinjuku Station or by JR, from Tokyo Station take the Keiyo Line or the Musashino Line
  • Pro-Tip: KKday provides a number of pass options from the option to choose either a Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea Ticket 1-Day Pass, a 2-Day Pass, or a 3-Day Pass

Christmas in Hong Kong: Hong Kong WinterFest

Christmas in Asia: Christmas in Hong Kong
Spend Christmas in Asia: Hong Kong WinterFest (image via Richard Cheung, flickr)

Pay a visit to the annual WinterFest during Christmas in Hong Kong. Children will enjoy the giant Christmas Tree Statue Square, where they can meet Santa, himself. Feel the holiday cheer as a choir sings Christmas carols. In the evening head down to Piazza, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, for the dazzling Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show. You’ll also be able to catch a spectacular fireworks display from the harbor during the New Year. Combine this with a cruise along the Victoria Harbour on a traditional Chinese boat for a truly magical experience.

  • When: December (exact dates change yearly)
  • Where: Central, Statue Square
  • How to Get There: Take the MTR to Central Station, exit Statue Square
  • Pro-Tip: Admission is free, making this an excellent and cost efficient option for budget travelers

Christmas in Seoul, Korea: Seoul Christmas Festival

Spend Christmas in Asia: Seoul Christmas Festival
Spend Christmas in Asia: Seoul Christmas Festival (image via @theeconomist, Instagram)

Journey to Cheonggyecheon Plaza for Seoul’s Christmas Festival. Behold an immense Christmas tree, light shows and musical performances.

Christmas in Asia: Christmas in Korea
Spend Christmas in Asia: Seoul Christmas Festival

Daily concerts take place in additional to a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and a special Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve show. Take a breather from all that Christmas shopping, walk through the Plaza, and drink in the sight.

  • When: December – January (exact dates change yearly)
  • Where: Cheonggyecheon Stream Cheonggye Plaza and Jangtong Bridge Area
  • How to Get There: By subway, disembark at Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), (Exit 5)
  • Pro-Tip: The grounds are sectioned into a few different zones that each feature something different, be sure to make the most of your time there and check out all the zones

Christmas in Seoul, Korea: Garden of Morning Calm and Strawberry Picking in Gangwon

Nami Island
Spend Christmas in Asia: Nami Island (image via .angels., flickr)

During the Christmas season, travelers staying in Seoul should venture out on a day tour of the surrounding countryside for picturesque views of snowcapped mountains. Book a tour of The Garden of Morning Calm, Nami Island and a local strawberry farm to take advantage of winter in Seoul.

Spend Christmas in Asia: The Garden of Morning Calm
Spend Christmas in Asia: The Garden of Morning Calm (image via @tourmakerkorea_en, Instagram)

The Garden of Morning Calm, a scenic park in the Gangwon province, features charming, manicured gardens, vibrant blooms and statues throughout the grounds. During the winter, the garden becomes a winter wonderland. Twinkle lights adorn every inch of the grounds, creating a stunning sight.

Christmas in Asia: Christmas in Korea
Spend Christmas in Asia: Strawberry Picking

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend Christmas in Gangwon province (just a short drive away from Seoul). December is prime strawberry season so stop at one of the local  farms to pick fruit when it’s at its plumpest and juiciest!

  • When: December to March
  • Where: Gangwon Province
  • How to Get There: book a day tour from Seoul

Christmas in Seoul, Korea: Everland Theme Park

Christmas in Asia: Christmas in Korea
Spend Christmas in Asia: Everland Theme Park in Seoul

Families spending Christmas in Seoul should spend a day at Everland Theme Park. During the holiday season, the park turns into huge Christmas party, with non-stop events, shows, and entertainment. Enjoy Everland’s Christmas Fantasy and see their White Christmas Parade.

  • When: November to December (exact dates change yearly)
  • Where: Everland Theme Park
  • How to Get There:
    • By subway:

From Jeondae-Everland Station (Yongin EverLine), (Exit 3), take the shuttle bus to Everland (runs from 5:30am – 11:30pm)

    • By bus:

1. From Sinnonhyeon, Gangnam, Yangjae Stations: Bus 5002
2. From Pangyo, Segok-dong, Suseo, Songpa, Jamsil, Gangbyeon Stations: Bus 5700
3. From Sadang, Nambu Terminal Stations (via Bundang and Gwangju): Bus 1500-2
4. From Gangbyeon, Gangdong Stations (via Gwangju): Bus 1113

Christmas in Bangkok, Thailand: Central World Winter Beer Garden in Bangkok

Christmas in Asia: Christmas in Thailand
Spend Christmas in Asia: Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok residents and tourists can enjoy Thailand’s cooler temperatures during the winter season and spend Christmas outdoors at the Winter Beer Garden at Central World mall. Beer lovers will appreciate the numerous tents serving up local and imported beers. In addition to the drinks, guests can hear live music from some of Thailand’s most talented acts.

  • When: November – January (exact dates change yearly)
  • Where: Central World, 4,4 / 1-2,4 / 4, Ratchadamri Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok
  • How to Get There: Take the BTS to Chit Lom Station

Christmas in Taipei, Taiwan: Christmas Markets in Taipei

 

Spend Christmas in Asia: Banqiao Christmas Market in New Taipei City (image via @canonwhatelse, Instagram)

Taiwan may not be known for celebrating Christmas, but that doesn’t mean that the Taiwanese don’t love an opportunity for Christmas lights and good food! There are two Christmas markets that take place in Taipei: one near the Taipei 101 and the other in the Banqiao District. The Banqiao Christmas Market in New Taipei City is known for it’s extravagant light show (see above).

  • When: November – December (exact dates change yearly)
  • Where: New Taipei City Plaza, No. 161, Section 1, Zhongshan Road, Banqiao District, New Taipei City, 220
  • How to Get There: Take the MRT to Banqiao Station (Blue Line) and walk over to the market
  • Pro-Tip: Special events (like concerts and a Children’s Carnival) will take place throughout the festival, be sure to check their Facebook page for updated info
Christmas in Asia: Taipei 101 Christmas Market
Christmas in Asia: Taipei 101 Christmas Market (image via @youuwayne, Instagram)

The Christmas market at Taipei 101 is the perfect family destination. Kids will delight in activities, rides and performances. Walk through the market and sample delicious sweet treats and Christmas-y goodies like baked goods and cookies. Past markets have featured an enormous Christmas tree and a skating rink!

  • When: December (exact dates change yearly)
  • Where: Taipei 101, 110, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Section 5, Xinyi Road
  • How to Get There: Take the MRT to Taipei 101 Station (Red Line)
  • Pro-Tip: This Christmas market is a ticketed event (tickets are available on-site), so be sure to have cash on-hand

 

Christmas in Bohol, Philippines: Simbang Gabi

Christmas in Asia: Bohol, Philippines
Christmas in Asia: Bohol, Philippines

The Philippines *love* Christmas. As early as September 1st, you’ll hear Christmas songs on the radio and malls start hanging up festive decorations. One uniquely Filipino Christmas custom is ‘Simbang Gabi’  (‘Night Mass’), a nine-day series of masses held at 4:30am, leading up to Christmas. Travelers can partake in this time-honored festival at many of the heritage churches in Bohol. Yes it’s early, but it’s said that if you complete the nine masses, you’ll be granted a single wish! For a truly authentic and traditional Christmas celebration, experience the holiday season in the Philippines.

  • When: December 16 – 24
  • Pro-Tip: If you’re staying in Cebu, book a day tour to Bohol and witness some of their most iconic landmarks like the Chocolate Hills. Then, stay in Bohol to join in ‘Simbang Gabi’

 

Christmas in Asia doesn’t mean a lack of holiday cheer, snow or tasty Christmas treats! Book a trip to one of these incredible locations in Asia and experience Christmas in a totally new way.

Planning a winter trip? Here’s more important info: 

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