Things to do in the city of dreaming spires/Christmas Markets | Oxford at Christmas | Urban Illustration
The festive season is fast approaching, and you might be wondering, where is the best city for your Christmas shopping? Well, a great and underrated shopping destination is Oxford! No, not Oxford street but the actual city of Oxford. It’s the ideal location for unique gifts from small businesses. In fact, Oxford has not only one Christmas market but two! With lovely stalls by small local businesses selling their Christmas goodies, there is something special for everyone. In this blog, we will provide you with all the things you need to know about Oxford’s sparkling Christmas markets.
Oxford Christmas Market
Oxford is well known for its famous colleges such as the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. But what a lot of people don’t know is that it is home to great Christmas Markets and the Oxford Christmas Market is one of them. It is very traditional and cosy and is filled with Christmas spirit.
This year’s festivities will return with a bang from Saturday the 12th of November 2022 until Thursday the 22nd of December 2022. The Oxford Christmas Market will take place on Broad Street, in Oxford City Centre and will be open daily from 10 am to 6:30 pm except on Thursday – Saturday it will be open until 8 pm.
As one of the best Christmas Markets in the country, the Oxford Christmas Market offers an unrivalled selection of festival events and attractions to keep winter visitors busy. The Christmas Markets are made up of wonderful stalls run by small local businesses including crafts, clothes, jewellery and toys and many more.
You can view all the stallholders here
Moreover, there will be live performances by local bands and artists such as the Oxford Gospel Choir, Rock Choir and City of Oxford Silver Band. The full performance program can be viewed here
The annual Christmas markets can be easily accessed via different forms of transpiration including bicycles, trains from the Oxford railway station, buses etc more details can be found on the website.
Blenheim Palace Christmas Market 2022
This year, the iconic Blenheim Palace Christmas market returns better than ever! Christmas Markets at a historic site? What else could you ask for? The Christmas markets will take place on 18 November 2022 and 2 January 2023.
The Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Oxfordshire and is the birthplace of Winston Churchill. It is surrounded by walled picture-perfect gardens and a mystical maze! At this year’s Christmas markets, talented independent street food vendors offer mouth-watering Christmas treats, including delicious hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. Furthermore, there will be stalls, organised by the ‘Living Crafts events’ which promote top handmade British arts and design through their shows and events across the South of England for nearly 50 years. They have been providing high-quality events and retail opportunities for small craft businesses from across the UK. This is the best place to find the perfect Christmas gift or stocking filler for your loved ones. www.livingcrafts.co.uk
This year Blenheim Palace’s spectacular State Rooms have been transformed into a fairy-tale fantasy focusing on the enchanting story of “ The Kingdom of the Snow Queen”. Walking through these rooms will be like walking through a real-life snow-fairy land. This is an absolute treat for both children and adults.
Moreover, there will be an Illuminated festive trail hosted in the estate’s parkland and gardens. This includes diamond blue lights, glittering tunnels of light, and light-up mirrored classes. A truly spectacular experience that should not be missed.
More information here
Tickets and parking tickets can be purchased here
We hope this blog has convinced you to add Oxford to your list of Christmas destinations. The picturesque and historic city of Oxford has two festive Christmas markets to choose from for all the family to enjoy!
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Tokyo is not only the capital of Japan but also the capital of Kawaii culture. Kawaii means cute and adorable in Japanese and refers to Japanese pop culture. It extensively covers a range of categories, including colourful pastel cafes, fashionable clothing, popular anime characters, lovely animal mascots and so on. In recent years, the Japanese government has officially adopted it as a tourism strategy to attract more international tourists to Japan.
Want to explore the Kawaii culture in Tokyo but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered with this list of the top 5 kawaii things to do in Tokyo, Japan.
A kawaii hotspot in Tokyo is Sanrio Puroland, a beautiful kawaii-themed amusement park with Sanrio characters, such as Hello Kitty, My Melody, Gudetame, Cinnamoroll, and many more! This is a fun day out for all ages. This popular theme park is visited by approximately 1.5 million visitors every year. There’s so much you can do! Visitors can meet the adorable Sanrio characters and take pictures as well as play themed games and visit kawaii-style attractions. Moreover, visitors can enjoy live shows, parades, themed food and beverages and shop limited merchandise.
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Tokyo is full of colourful cafés that are ideal to get the perfect Instagram shot. In this blog, we will explore three top-rated kawaii cafes in Tokyo.
If you are a fan of Pokémon then this is the café for you! This Japanese-style café welcomes visitors with cute Pokémon characters with whom they can take pictures with. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy Pokémon-themed food and drinks which are very colourful. You might even see Pikachu and its friends performing live. At Pokemon café, you can also find original Pokémon merchandise such as cute mugs and cutlery. Reservation will be required before visiting.
Moomins is a much-loved cartoon in Tokyo, that’s why there are two Moomin cafes! One is in Tokyo Dome City and the other is in Soramachi, an iconic shopping complex at Tokyo Skytree. This is a great place to try nordic dishes in a cosy room full of Moomin decorations. This café is also known as the anti-loneliness café since the staff brings you a big Moomin plush to keep you company! No one is ever truly alone at Moomin café.
The Monster café is located in the centre of Tokyo’s youth culture in the region of Harajuku. It has been named the most “crazy and unusual” café in Tokyo! It is very colourful with neon lights and can get quite loud. Different rooms look like movie sets. Regarding food, there are rainbow-coloured mountains of cotton candy, and ridiculous crêpes filled with everything from strawberries and Nutella to sweet bean paste to pudding.
An important thing to note about kawaii monster cafe Tokyo is that there is a minimum order. Everyone must order at least one drink and one item from the food menu. We recommend getting something small/light as reviews show the food isn’t the best.
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The Studio Ghibli Museum was Co-founded by the director Hayao Miyazaki who made animated films such as “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Spirited Away,” and “Ponyo.” The Ghibli Museum is the animation and art museum of Miyazaki Hayao's Studio Ghibli, one of Japan's most famous animation studios, with exhibition areas and behind-the-scenes animations. For this reason, the museum is extremely popular and tickets are limited. At the museum, visitors can see the famous movie characters, a life-sized robot from "Castle in the Sky" in the rooftop garden, and watch short movies by Studio Ghibli that are exclusive to the museum. A must-see location for any kawaii fan!
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Tokyo is home to the best arcades in the country! There are many arcades across the capital and most of them are kawaii-themed. In Tokyo, video game arcades are continuously preserved, and gracefully infused with new technology. If you are visiting the city and like video games, these are the arcades you must check out. These include; Club Sega, Super Potato, and Game Bar A – Button.
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You can’t leave Tokyo without some Kawaii merchandise or souvenirs. At Kawaii-themed shops you can find a plethora of products with your favourite characters including stationery, costumes, crazy gadgets and many more. One of the top-recommended shops is Kiddyland. The main Harajuku store has six floors packed full of cuteness. Make sure you also visit character street, which is a whole area in the basement of Tokyo Station and has plenty of kawaii shops. Other options include Loft, Yamashiroya and Hapin. Happy Kawaii shopping!
That’s a wrap! The complete guide to kawaii things to do in Tokyo, Japan. From kawaii theme parks to kawaii cafes we’ve covered all the must-do things a true kawaii fan should do while visiting Tokyo, Japan to become an official member of the Tokyo kawaii club.
Don’t forget to head over to our Instagram page to see how the Urban Illustration team re-imaged the city of Tokyo with our popular geometrical map designs! Our Tokyo design can be printed on a variety of products such as cushion covers, tote bags, mugs and many more. For more information, please contact Parkwood Springs.