How to celebrate a japanese christmas

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Consume Strawberry Shortcake

A Japanese strawberry shortcake is spongy and light with whipped cream filling and icing, which is much less sweet than other cake toppers. This reward is offered as ‘Christmas Cake’ in Japan (although it’s likewise preferred for birthdays) and is a fantastic method to commemorate the season with friends and family.

See A Christmas Market

From Hokkaido to Kyushu, Japan hosts European-style Christmas markets throughout the winter. Discover whatever from fragile tree accessories to hot cider. Attempt the Tokyo Christmas Market; it’s sponsored by the German Tourist Association and the German Embassy and comes total with genuine European style. See December 16 th-25 th in Hibiya Park, 11 AM to 11 PM daily.

Dine On Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas has actually been a Japanese custom because the 1970 s, thanks to their memorable motto and marketing project. It’s not unusual to preorder meals for the week of Christmas weeks beforehand, and it’s quickly the busiest season for the junk food giant.


Christmas would not be Christmas without a little vacation shopping, and Japanese shopping centers are no complete stranger to Christmas design. Throughout this time of year, conventional trees, accessories, and items for sale focused on the vacation buyer can be discovered at a lot of significant shopping centers and outlet store, particularly in the huge cities.

Exchange Presents

It has actually ended up being commonplace for couples to exchange presents on Christmas Eve, however seldom anybody else. Considering that Christmas is not a Japanese custom, it’s likewise not conventional to exchange presents for the celebration. This might be due to the fact that Japan currently has a December present exchange of its own, the Japanese work-culture custom of oseibo, when colleagues exchange presents. Presents are more typically exchanged for the New Year, which is a much larger handle Japan.

Christmas has actually just been extensively commemorated in Japan for the last couple of years. It’s still not viewed as a spiritual vacation or event as there aren’t numerous Christians in Japan. Now numerous custom-mades that pertained to Japan from the U.S.A. such as getting and sending out Christmas Cards and Presents are popular.

In Japan, Christmas in referred to as more of a time to spread out joy instead of a spiritual event. Christmas Eve is typically commemorated more than Christmas Day. Christmas Eve is considered a romantic day, in which couples invest together and exchange presents. In numerous methods it looks like Valentine’s Day events in the UK and the U.S.A.. Young couples like to opt for strolls to take a look at the Christmas lights and have a romantic meal in a dining establishment – scheduling a table on Christmas Eve can be really hard as it’s so popular!

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Fried chicken is typically consumed on Christmas day. It is the busiest season for dining establishments such as KFC and individuals can put orders at their regional junk food dining establishment beforehand! There was a marketing campaign by KFC in the 1974 called ‘Kentucky for Christmas!’ (Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!) which was really effective and made KFC popular for Christmas!

The conventional Japanese Christmas food is Christmas cake, however it’s not an abundant fruit cake, however is typically a sponge cake embellished with strawberries and whipped cream. The ‘shortcake’ emoji [рџЌ°] is Japanese Christmas cake!

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Christmas is not a legal holiday in Japan. Frequently schools are closed on Christmas Day. The Emperor’s birthday is a legal holiday on the 23 rd December and there’s likewise a Brand-new Year school break. The vacation break typically begins around the 23 rd. The majority of services will deal with the 25 th as a ‘regular’ working day.

One piece of music is particularly well-known around Christmas and completion of the year in Japan – Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and its last act the “Ode to Pleasure”. The music is so well-known it’s just referred to as ‘daiku’ (which indicates ‘number 9’). Choirs all over the nation sing it in German. One choir in Osaka, has 10,000 individuals in it and is referred to as the ‘Number 9 Chorus’! It’s believed it was very first sung in Japan at Christmas by German detainees of War in World War One and for many years it ended up being a growing number of popular.

Another popular activity at Christmas in Japan, particularly in Tokyo, is going to Tokyo Disneyland (which opened in 1983) and seeing all the decors and the parades. The Christmas ‘season’ at Tokyo Disneyland is from the second week in November till Christmas Day. On December 26 th, all the Christmas decors are gone, prepared for the New Year events to begin! New Year is a huge event in Japan. A ‘Disney’ design Christmas may have likewise affected how Japanese culture commemorates Christmas as an enjoyable and romantic time, instead of a spiritual one. You can learn more about Christmas 2018 at Tokyo Disneyland on the Disney Traveler Blog site (goes to a various website).

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

In Japanese Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Meri Kurisumasu’. And it’s composed in the 2 Japanese scripts like this; Hiragana: г ‚ Ѓг ‚ ЉгѓјгЃЏг ‚ ЉгЃ ™ гЃѕгЃ ™; Katakana: гѓЎгѓЄгѓјг ‚ ЇгѓЄг ‚ № гѓћг ‚ №. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages.

Celebrations are typically held for kids, with video games and dancing. Japanese Christmas Cake is a sponge cake embellished with trees, flowers and a figure of Santa Claus.

In Japan Santa is referred to as г ‚ µгѓіг ‚ їгЃ • г ‚ ” гЂЃг ‚ µгѓіг ‚ їг ‚ Їгѓгѓјг ‚ № santa-san (Mr Santa). Another Japanese present bringer is Hoteiosho, a Japanese god of good luck from Buddhism and not actually associated to Christmas.

The Japanese Brand-new Year (called ‘o shogatsu’) is more like a conventional Western Christmas. Brand-new year is the duration where households get together, have an unique meal, pray and send out greetings cards. Brand-new year is commemorated over 5 days from December 31 st to January fourth and is an extremely hectic time.

In Japan this Christmas? Here’s a few of the important things you can anticipate throughout the ホリデイズ.

By Liam Carrigan Dec 24, 2018 5 minutes read

I have actually typically heard it stated by good friends and associates that: “Japan does not actually do Christmas.” I tend to disagree with this concept. There is a Christmas of sorts in Japan, however it’s really various from what you may be utilized to.

Is it a typical working day?

It holds true that Christmas is thought about a routine working day here in Japan. For me, through a number of ways such as selective usage of yearly leave, timing of school occasions and just the fortunate method the calendar falls, I have actually so far been able to delight in the day off on each of the Christmases that I have actually invested working in Japan.

That all being stated, Christmas Day is not a legal holiday in Japan so, depending upon the policy of your office, you’ll likely need to take it off as part of your yearly leave. December 23 rd (or in the case of 2018, the 24 th) is an annual public vacation because it’s the ruling Emperor’s Birthday that day.

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Who do you invest it with?

I discover that the method which Christmas and New Year are commemorated by the residents here, is the inverse of how they are commemorated back in Western nations.

In Scotland, Christmas was constantly viewed as the household time. No matter how hectic all of us were, the entire household constantly came together on Christmas Day in the late afternoon for a banquet of turkey, Christmas pudding and all the normal garnishes. New Year, on the other hand, was the time to go out with good friends in order to get, as we slur in Glasgow, “steamin’ intoxicated.”

In Japan, it appears to be the opposite. Christmas is the time for couples and good friends to toss celebrations, go out for supper, and commemorate, whereas New Year is when households come together, go to a temple and introduce the start of January with food and beverage at the household house.

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

If you do not have a date on Christmas Eve, you will not wish to endeavor anywhere public.

In reality, Christmas Eve is offered as the most romantic night of the year– sort of comparable to Valentine’s Day. All of the hotels and dining establishments are scheduled up, all of the shops are offering enthusiasts’ Christmas presents, and all of the streets are overrun with sickly sweet screens of love. Obviously there’s such unmentioned pressure for love that single individuals search for any partner or sweetheart in the weeks leading up to Christmas, so they can have somebody to go on a date with.

In reality, Christmas Eve is offered as the most romantic night of the year– sort of comparable to Valentine’s Day.

What’s the handle Christmas and KFC?

On Christmas Eve in Japan, if you wish to treat yourself to a meal that genuinely catches the Japanese spirit of Christmas, then there actually is just one location to go: Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Yes, for Japanese individuals, no Christmas event is total without a check out to the Colonel.

However why is this?

Obviously the response returns more than 40 years. Prior to Osaka’s historical World Exposition in 1970, American junk food was nearly unprecedented in Japan. At the Exposition, developed names like McDonalds and KFC evaluated really well amongst Japanese visitors. As an outcome, the very first KFC in Japan opened in Nagoya later on that year, to terrific reception from both Foreign and japanese homeowners alike.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t till 4 years later on that the link in between Christmas and KFC was developed. After observing a group of immigrants choosing KFC at Christmas time in the lack of the conventional turkey, among the executives at KFC chose to press an aggressive marketing project focused around Christmas. Therefore it took place. In Christmas of 1974 the “クリスマスにはケンタッキー” (Kentucky for Christmas) project showed to be an enormous success.

Today it is a core part of Christmas custom here in Japan. It’s so popular that you need to put your order more than a month beforehand for some products on the Christmas menu, and/or deal with a six-hour line on the real day. Take a look at this 2010 business for an extremely merry KFC Christmas, including starlet and vocalist Haruka Ayase dancing with kids to the tune of Suteki na Vacation(a popular Japanese Christmas tune).

To be reasonable, it sort of makes good sense, after all Colonel Sanders, with his white beard and happy personality most likely requires to a Santa Fit much better than a lot of Japanese mascots do.

What are “Illuminations”?

Japanese mall, dining establishments and other public locations are get the Christmas bug too. And when it pertains to ugly, excessive, yet constantly lovable expressions of joyful happiness, no one does it much better than the Japanese.

All over buyers go, you will see Christmas lights, brightened screens and ostentatious decors all over the location. It was rather disconcerting to see the big Halloween pumpkin beyond my health club changed with an extra-large inflatable Santa, total with accompanying reindeer, simply one day after Halloween.

The entire nation freaks for “illuminations”– seasonal Christmas light-up occasions that vary from little street decors to amazing audiovisual and forecast mapping extravaganzas. There are plenty occurring all over the nation, from late November often all the method till Valentine’s Day and beyond.

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

The Nabana no Sato Winter Season Lighting in Mie prefecture is among Japan’s most significant and most popular.

For a variety of factors, 2018 has actually been a quite bad year for a great deal of individuals and there’s absolutely nothing rather like a prolonged joyful season to raise the spirits. If this is your fiftieth or very first Christmas in Japan, I hope it’s a pleased one!

With KFC fried chicken containers, strawberry shortcakes and romantic supper dates– not always because order

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

If this year is your very first Christmas in Japan, you may be a little shocked (or perhaps puzzled) at a few of the customs you witness. Despite the fact that just about 1 percent of the Japanese population are Christian, Christmas is still a quite huge offer over here (as you might have seen with the wide variety of Christmas markets and spectacular illuminations dotting every corner of Tokyo). The Japanese have their own spin on Christmas that does not consist of any spiritual associations. We have actually broken down the 3 crucial Japanese Christmas customs and where they all originated from.

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Picture: Korn Vitthayanukarun/Dreamstime

KFC for Christmas

While somewhere else worldwide, Christmas supper typically indicates a fat roast turkey or a great vacation ham, in Japan it’s everything about the Colonel. When the very first KFC opened in Japan in 1970, the shop supervisor Takeshi Okawara (who would later on go on to end up being the CEO of KFC Japan) had an abrupt flash of motivation throughout his sleep one night (as the story goes)– a Christmas ‘celebration barrel’. At that time, Christmas supper in Japan was sort of ill-defined, and turkey was (and still is) exceptionally difficult to come by. To Okawara, the celebration barrel filled a great space. In 1974 the idea went nationwide with the project ‘Kurisumasu ni wa, Kentakki’ or ‘Kentucky for Christmas.’

The concept reviewed like gangbusters and today an approximated 3.6 million Japanese households will take a seat to a hearty banquet of KFC on Christmas Day. The ‘celebration barrels’ have actually been upgraded as ‘Christmas supper bundles’ (much classier), and every year these vacation sets comprise a tremendous one-third (!) of KFC Japan’s yearly sales. If you’re thinking of taking part the custom this year, simply be alerted: this is no joke. If you desire ‘Kentucky for Christmas’ you much better order your bundle weeks beforehand, or be prepared to mark time for hours at your regional KFC.

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Christmas cake: the sweet taste of success

Next on the Christmas order of business in Japan, after you have actually put in your KFC order, is to schedule your Christmas cake. Japanese Christmas cake (constantly strawberry shortcake, with maybe some chocolate santas or snowmen on top) is so common come December that you can actually discover it anywhere– pastry shops, supermarket, even corner store. This one really has a little a fascinating political history to it.

After Japan’s defeat in The second world war, the economy was wrecked and the population was having a hard time tremendously. Food was sweet and limited sugary foods particularly were an untasted high-end for a lot of. The American Profession forces led the effort to reconstruct Japan, and the sugary foods they would often give out appeared like a little window into future splendour and success. As anthropologist Hideyo Konagaya put it in a 2001 paper on the topic, ‘Sweet chocolates, above all, offered by American soldiers epitomised the utmost wealth Japanese kids saw in American lives.’

As the idea of Christmas slowly sneaked in throughout those post-war years, the economy likewise rebounded with nearly abstruse success. With its previously-unattainable components now offered all over, the Christmas cake ended up being a sign that Japan had actually lastly ‘made it’. Since its white and red colours show those in the nationwide flag, the strawberry shortcake was selected as the favoured cake.

So while American kids are lining up for Santa and asking for whatever from toy automobiles to PlayStations, the Japanese will take a minute to review their own wealth and good luck with a more modest screen– a peaceful household delighting in Christmas cake.

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Christmas Eve is the Japanese ‘Valentine’s Day’

For a lot of Japanese, Christmas Eve is an even larger offer than Christmas Day. Over here, Christmas Eve is the most romantic day of the year (yes, overtaking Valentine’s Day, which they likewise do). Couples will schedule an elegant Christmas supper (maybe some dining establishment with an open fire to cosy up by) and after that follow it with a nighttime walk to take in some illuminations.

The history on this one is a bit more difficult to put. Some state it’s due to the fact that Christmas is a time for love and happiness, so why would not you invest it with the one you like? Others state you can trace it back to 1982 when the Japanese hit ‘My Fan is Santa Claus’ came out and topped the charts. Nowadays, this tune is the Japanese equivalent of ‘Last Christmas’ or ‘All I Desired For Christmas Is You’– simply put, you can’t leave everything December long.

Each December, Christmas is commemorated by individuals in nations all over the world, and Japan is no exception! Much of the Christmas custom-mades seen in western nations can likewise be discovered in Japan, however typically reimagined in a various method than you might anticipate.

There are likewise some brand-new customs that have actually been produced by the Japanese, making Christmas in Japan a special event of its own accord!

Japanese Christmas: A Vacation for Lovers?

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Christmas is understood throughout the world for being a Christian vacation, however in Japan it is dealt with as a nonreligious event, and tends to be commemorated no matter one’s religious beliefs. Really couple of individuals in Japan consider themselves Christian, however the vacation of Christmas is taken pleasure in by individuals from far and wide in Japan.

Among the crucial distinctions is that Christmas in Japan is considered a vacation for enthusiasts, instead of a time to collect with household. (In Japan, the New Year’s vacation is the time households typically collect). Usually couples will prepare a romantic date, such as supper at an unique dining establishment, or walking the town to see Christmas lights.

Nevertheless, for those whom Christmas has specific spiritual significance connected, churches using Christmas mass can probably be discovered in any significant city in Japan.

Christmas in Japan has to do with Decors and illuminations

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Winter season illuminations are not always associated to Christmas, however to numerous, the 2 are entirely linked. Each winter, cities in Japan end up being loaded with shimmering lights, enthralling all who cross their stunning course. Over the last few years, numerous company are choosing environment-friendly LED lights, which utilize considerably less electrical power than the conventional ranges. Big scale forecast mapping illuminations have likewise end up being a popular Christmas time banquet for the eyes.

While the custom of setting up a Christmas tree in one’s house is not typical in Japan, numerous services and shopping mall will show wonderfully embellished trees, together with other Christmas-themed screens that turn a regular journey to the shopping mall into a wonderful winter season wonderland experience!

Does Santa See Japan?

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

Thankfully for Japanese kids, the idea of Santa Claus is one Christmas custom that lives and well in Japan. Like other kids worldwide, Japanese kids likewise eagerly anticipate a see from Santa on Christmas Eve and a present awaiting them on Christmas early morning.

Couples likewise might exchange presents for Christmas, however normally speaking, present offering plays a substantially smaller sized function than it performs in Western nations.

One special twist on the tradition: in Western custom, Santa gets in houses by climbing up down chimneys – an act hard to do in a country where most houses lack this sort of entryway! Ask most any Japanese kid, nevertheless, and they’ll have a fascinating take: Santa is usually viewed as some sort of wonderful ghost that appears with goodies!

A Distinctively Japanese Christmas Supper: Fried Chicken

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

It might come as a surprise, however instead of delighting in a glazed ham or roast turkey, the most popular option for Japanese Christmas supper is fried chicken! The food is in such high need throughout this time, that a specific American quick food chain takes pre-orders of their popular fried chicken pail as early as November! Even if you do not put an unique order, you can quickly discover plenty of fried chicken in benefit shops and grocery stores on Christmas Eve, along with pre-made roast chicken.

Japanese Christmas Cakes

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

For dessert, rather of gingerbread guys, other cookies, or pie, it’s conventional to consume Christmas cake (‘ kurisumasu keeki’, as it’s contacted Japanese) with liked ones. While Japan is definitely not the only nation to delight in cake at Christmas time, you may be shocked to discover that what they’re consuming is not the normal fruitcake that’s usually consumed in American and european nations. Rather, kurisumasu keeki is typically a sort of sponge cake-based strawberry shortcake.

Japan’s love affair with Christmas cake goes back to 1922, starting with the Fujiya confectionery producer, who marketed the cream-covered cakes with the simple tagline, “Let’s consume cake on Christmas!” (” kurisumasu ni keeki o tabemashou”).

Unlike the modest fruitcake consumed in some other nations on the vacation, Japanese Christmas cakes were wonderfully embellished with strawberries, sugar Santas, and other Christmas-themed edible accessories. At the time, the elaborate cakes were thought about pricey, and were sluggish to capture on with the public. By the 1970 s, consuming kurisumasu keeki had actually ended up being a Christmas Eve custom amongst homes in Japan.

Nowadays in Japan, while the white cream and strawberry Christmas cake still rules supreme, you can discover Christmas cakes of numerous types and tastes. Some current cakes have actually consisted of chocolate, numerous fruits, hazelnut, and ice cream amongst components. You can even discover cakes imitated popular characters.

Christmas in Japanese Popular Culture

How to celebrate a japanese christmas

While Japan has actually embraced a number of the Christmas custom-mades of other nations, for many years they have actually integrated them into their own culture so well, they have actually made them their own. Prior to December even starts you can hear Christmas music in the air. Foreign and conventional pop tunes are popular, however Japan has an abundance of Christmas tunes all their own that have actually ended up being conventional in their own. Around this time of year you can likewise discover numerous TELEVISION and anime episodes focused around the style of Christmas.

If you remain in Japan throughout the winter season, please have a “Merii Kurisumasu!”– the Japanese method!