Santa Tonttu used as the cover photo for the Tonttu Christmas event at Omiya Kadomachi

Last year for the first ever Christmas at Omiya Kadomachi they had a lovely Tonttu Christmas from Finland event and I am delighted to announce that it will be back in 2023. The period of the Tonttu Christmas starts on December 1st, but the main events are the weekend before Christmas Day…

Tonttu Christmas

Santa's little helpers, Tonttu from Finland in Japan. Used as a photo for the Tonttu Workshop at the Tonttu Christmas market in Omiya, Saitama City
Santa’s little helpers, Tonttu at Finland No Mori in Tochigi.

Tonttu are what I grew up calling “Santa’s little helpers”. Maybe you know them as Santa Elves. But in Finland they call them Tonttu. I personally only became familiar with the term “Tonttu” after our very first visit to Finland No Mori, pictured above, to meet the real Santa in 2015. Since then, I occasionally see it used in places that have a Lapland (ie Finland) Santa visit or Christmas Market. Metsa Village, for example, have Tonttu at their Christmas events.

Christmas Market & Concert

The Christmas Market will be on at Kadomachi Square for just three days this year (last year it was six) – from Saturday December 23rd to Christmas Day, December 25th 2023. It is on from 11 am to 6 pm each day. On the Saturday, the 23rd, they will also have a mini Christmas concert, from 2 pm to 3.30 pm.

Santa Claus

This year Santa Claus will be visiting Omiya Kadomachi on Christmas Eve at 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm. Each time he will be there for approximately an hour and will meet about about 60 families. Children will receive a certificate of meeting the real Santa Claus, and young children will also receive a candy from him.

Ihana Greeting

Ihana is a Tonttu. She will be meeting and greeting families each day of the Christmas Market. On the 23rd she will be around from 11.30 am, 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm, for about half an hour each time. On the 24th and 25th she will be meeting people at noon, 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm, also for about half an hour each time.

Omiya Kadomachi

Omiya Kadomachi opened in June 2022, a couple of months behind schedule, at the site of the old Chuo Department Store. It is a type of civic facility with a concert hall and some shops.


Event: Tonttu Christmas from Finland 2023 トントゥたちのクリスマス from フィンランド 2023

Date: from December 1st to December 25th, with the main events on from the 23rd to the 25th.

Time: Christmas Market (23rd to 25th) – 11 am to 7 pm, Concert (23rd) – 2 pm to 3.30 pm, Ihana Meet and Greet (23rd to 25th) see main text above, Santa Meet and Greet (24th) see main text above.

Cost: free

Venue: 1st floor court yard of Omiya Kadomachi, 2 Chome-118 Daimoncho, Omiya Ward, Saitama, 330-0846. View on Google Maps.

Official website

Event information in Japanese.

Editor’s note: for the very first Tonttu Christmas in 2022 they had several free workshops too, including one where you could make Tonttu. They are currently not scheduled for 2023. 20221209

Comments are always appreciated...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.