In Medieval times, farmers and tradesmen in Christian European countries would celebrate Advent — the anticipation of the "arrival of the Christ" — by meeting in the streets around churches with food, gifts, homemade crafts and singing. According to written records, the first gathering like this was a winter open-air market in Munich, Germany, in 1310. Since then, German Christmas markets have become a popular part of the holiday season worldwide.

Roppongi Hills is opening its German Christmas Market on Nov. 30 at the complex's Oyane Plaza, and it will feature stalls offering festive crafts, snow globes, Christmas ornaments and German dishes, including grilled bratwurst (sausages), beer and Glühwein, (spiced hot wine). A charity campaign organized in collaboration with MasterCard Inc. will also donate some of the proceeds from purchases to the Momo-Kaki Orphans Fund, which helps support orphans in earthquake- and tsunami-hit areas of Japan.

The market is part of the Roppongi Hills Anniversary Christmas, which this year commemorates 10 years of the cultural complex. Some events already began earlier this month, such as the Christmas illuminations of more than a million LED lights along the Keyakizaka-dori, and a 10-meter tall Christmas tree lit up with candle-like OLEDs at 66 Plaza. There are more displays plus concerts and other music performances planned. For those hoping for Christmas dinner, festive menus are also being offered at restaurants inside the complex.

The German Christmas Market takes place from Nov. 30 through Dec. 25, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Oyane Plaza in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo. Other events are held within the complex. Admission is free. For more information, visit