Kosaka is a relatively small town in the northeastern part of Akita prefecture. Although it is small, it is unique and definitely worth checking out if you have an opportunity to.
A great time to go is during the Christmas Market in on the weekends of December.
Now I know what you probably are thinking, 'A Christmas Market in northern Japan?'
Yep! And it's a German style Christmas market too!
Kosaka was one of the first places to get German immigrants back in late 1880 to the 1900s. They helped with mining at the time, and Kosaka quickly became a huge mining town, with a large population. It was also one of the first places to get electricity, due to its size and population. They even got a kabuki theater, call the Korakukan Kabuki theater, which is still standing and a sight to see, that's for sure!
The Germans brought with them their Christmas traditions, which are carried on today in the form of the Christmas Market. Now it's small and quaint, but it has misotampo and hot liquor so there's not much to complain about.
There is a tractor that pulls people around to see all the lights of the display, and you can walk to the balcony of the Kosaka Mine Office and see the courtyard with a giant heart. It is full of the Christmas spirit, and truly a great way to spend a cold winter's night.
The school building has different musicians performing during market, making it a great place to go to get warmed up from the winter cold. It also has displays of arts and crafts done by the local elementary students!
The little room off to the side has a traditional German Christmas dinner lay out for visitors to see.
You could make a whole day out of it by arriving early enough to see the museums while they are open, or even just checking out some stuff in Odate, because it isn't too far away from there.
There is a souvenir shop in the Kosaka Mine Office, where you can pick up some German Christmas goods, as well as some local omeyage, if that's more your pace.
If you have a few hours to spare and an interest in seeing something truly unique, I definitely recommend you stop at the Kosaka Christmas Market!
Do you have any off the beaten path places you'd recommend a traveler to check out in your area?
Love Always, Laura Ann