The end of the year is approaching quickly! And it only means one thing: Christmas and New Year celebrations are coming. Perhaps in your part of the world, preparations to celebrate the festivities are already being made. Streets full of Christmas lights, gingerbread cookies in the oven, a trimmed Christmas tree standing tall... even Santa is getting ready for the big night!
Christmas in Japan is more a celebratory day rather than a religious one. Starting in December, cities light up with beautiful illuminations. Of course, Japan has its own Christmas traditions. We have selected a few of our favourite Christmas traditions in Japan. So grab your fuzziest socks and a hot cup of cocoa, and let’s dive in!
Eating Delicious Christmas Cakes
Even though it’s called a Christmas cake, it’s actually strawberry shortcake. With its light and spongy texture, whipped cream frosting, and juicy, deep red strawberry filling, the Christmas cake has already become a staple of Japan’s Christmas festivities. The Christmas cake has also been seen as a symbol of prosperity and growth for Japan after World War II.
Visiting Christmas Markets
As Christmas approaches, there are a lot of European-styled Christmas markets that pop up all across Japan. At these markets, all the things you need for this festive season, from Christmas tree decorations to hot cider that keeps you warm on a chilly Winter’s night. If you are visiting Tokyo this Christmas, try visiting the Roppongi Hills Christmas Market and treat yourself to some Christmas goodies!
Grabbing a Bucket of Christmas KFC
Thanks to its seasonal promotion efforts, KFC Japan has become a key part of Japanese Christmas since the 1970’s. This famous chicken chain has it’s busiest time around Christmas, and a huge number of people pre-order their KFC Christmas dinner weeks in advance. If you want to grab a bucket for yourself on Christmas, get ready for long lines and wait times, as it takes people hours to get their food. Well, spending Christmas Eve with KFC and loved ones does sound great, so no wonder if a lot of people cherish this tradition.
Taking in the Christmas Illuminations
Winter is Japan's favourite season to light up its cities. Major shopping districts and malls, such as Tokyo Midtown, public parks like Inokashira, and famous landmarks such as Tokyo Station all have their own unique and wonderful winter illumination displays. These spots are exceptionally beautiful, and are especially popular among families and couples.
Going on a Christmas Date with that Special Someone
A lot of Japanese people take Christmas Eve as an opportunity to spend Christmas Eve with someone they love. It could even be compared to how people spend Valentine's Day in the west. Couples in Japan spend Christmas Eve by doing things like sharing a romantic dinner at a nice restaurant, or taking a walk while enjoying the romantic atmosphere with gorgeous illuminations in the background. If you can spend Christmas Eve in Japan, who would you spend it with?
There are still a lot more things to enjoy during the holiday period in Japan, like doing a bit of Christmas shopping or visiting Tokyo Disneyland’s Christmas events. But now, it’s your turn to tell us about the holiday traditions in your country. Tell us about it in the comments below, okay? We are looking forward to learning more about them!