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Friday, Dec. 4, 2009

Market adds holiday cheer

Special to The Japan Times

Marche de Noel, a Christmas market with over 400 years of tradition, is coming to Tokyo from Dec. 11-25.

News photo
Tis the season: Marche de Noel began in Europe in 1570.

Marche de Noel, also known as Christkindelsmarik, originated in Strasbourg, in the Alsace region of France, in 1570 and has been held every winter since near Strasbourg's cathedral. The Embassy of France and Tokyo's metropolitan government are cooperating to bring Marche de Noel to the Tokyo International Forum along with Christmas illumination, live concerts and workshops on Alsatian wine and eateries.

Marche de Noel will soak you and your kids in Christmas warmth, and of course add a little dose of Christmas commercialism with an abundance of items imported for France. On Dec. 22 and 23, attendees also will get the chance to enjoy the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra's Christmas concert with free Alsatian wine and a photo session with Santa Claus for kids before the show. The Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra has teamed up with various guest artists for the event and will perform tunes in a variety of genres ranging from jazz to Christmas carols.

For kids, Yamazaki Vanilla, famous Japanese narrator, will be reading Christmas tales on Dec. 19. The opening ceremony on Dec. 11 will be attended by the mayor of Strasbourg.

Marche de Noel will be held from Dec. 11 until Dec. 25. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (until 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 25). Admission is free. To purchase concert tickets for Dec. 22 or 23, visit t.pia.jp/. For more information on the market, visit www.t-i-forum.co.jp/noel/.

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