Kobe Christmas display features baseball's champion team manager as Santa

A Santa Claus figure modeled on the manager of this year's Japanese professional baseball champion, the Hanshin Tigers, has gone on show at a major tourist spot in Kobe City, western Japan.

Every Christmas season, a building called Uroko House in a former foreign residential area of the port city displays on its roof likenesses of people who made the news during the year.

This year's Santa Claus is Okada Akinobu, the manager of the Hanshin Tigers. The team won the Nippon Series pennant for the first time in 38 years.

The figure is surrounded by those of people who also attracted attention. They include Japanese Major League Baseball star Ohtani Shohei. He won this year's Most Valuable Player Award in the American League.

Another figure is modeled on Fujii Sota, who became the first shogi player to hold all eight major titles.

Sakihara Tomoka, who works at the operator of Uroko House, said she hopes visitors can enjoy remembering the Tigers' victory and prepare to welcome the new year.

The display will be on show until Christmas.