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Holiday season starts with market in Osaka

by Monica Tandung

Staff Writer

With Halloween finished it’s now, according to the business community, time to start making Christmas preparations.

In Osaka, the 10th annual German Christmas Market will be doing its best to get people into a festive mood.

The event is organized by the German Consulate in Osaka in collaboration with MBS and Sekisui House Umeda Operation Co. The main attraction, which is also a popular picture-taking spot, is a 27-meter-tall Christmas tree decorated with around 100,000 colorful light bulbs. There is also a 115-year-old antique wooden merry-go-round for kids (and adults) to ride.

Of course it wouldn’t be a German market without booths and stalls offering crafts, gifts and food. Traditional snacks and sweets will be available, including grilled sausage, roasted almonds and mulled wine to help heat bodies during the cold winter season. There will also be colored popcorn and homemade candies for children.

Throughout the duration of the market, there will be various live music performances, including choir groups singing holiday tunes underneath the giant Christmas tree. Also expect to see Saint Nicholas, the German version of Santa Claus, stop by for a visit.

German Christmas Market takes place Nov. 18 till Dec. 25 at the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka. The market is open from noon until 9 p.m. on Monday to Thursday, noon until 10 p.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. till 10 p.m. on weekends and holidays. For more information (in Japanese), visit www.skybldg.co.jp/event/xmarkt/2011.