Christmas in Japan

Christmas in Japan Situations

A Strange Christmas in Japan

Christmas in Japan may seem strange compared to Christmas in the West. While the religious flavor is fading in the West, Christmas in Japan is not perceived as a “religious event” at all.

Nowadays, Christmas is not only for children who yearn for Santa Claus, nor is it only for young people who love the event. Every year after November, Christmas decorations are put up in supermarkets and other familiar places, and Christmas events begin at the Tokyo Disney Resort.

As we enter December, it is a habit of Japanese people to feel somewhat restless thinking about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, which follow Christmas. December is called “Shiwasu”, which means “so busy that even the master runs”. I, too, feel impatient, even though it does not mean that the year is coming to an end.

The must-haves are fried chicken, cake, …

Fried chicken and Christmas cake
Fried chicken and Christmas cake

The must-haves for Christmas in Japan are fried chicken and cake. I don’t know where it came from or how it came to be, but through a commercial gimmick, it has been decided that these are the things to eat at Christmas in Japan! This is why KFC, a global chain, is the busiest and best-selling restaurant during Christmas in Japan.

Christmas cakes must be reserved in advance, and cakes from popular stores can only be purchased at the last minute.

Sushi, a party staple, is also often sold at the same time. It may seem strange to have fried chicken, cake, and sushi on the same table, but it is a common sight at Christmas in Japan.

Is Christmas in Japan for couples?

Until around the 2000s, the status quo for young people was to spend Christmas as a couple. People without girlfriends or boyfriends were considered “lonely,” and some even made girlfriends for Christmas and broke up with them after Christmas.

Today, this is less common. For young people with girlfriends or boyfriends, it has become the norm to spend Christmas as a couple rather than with family and friends. When you go to places where Christmas lights are decorated, you see so many couples that those who are not in love seem uncomfortable.

Illuminated streets
Illuminated streets

Spending time with friends and family

In recent years, an increasing percentage of people spend Christmas with friends and family. It is common for friends to get together and have a party, or for families to enjoy Christmas together.

Even among friends, it seems that it is rare to have a large gathering of just four or five like-minded people.

Santa Claus comes to children up to early elementary school age with presents. When they wake up on Christmas morning, there’s a present on their pillow or in their doorway! That’s why. “Santa Claus won’t come unless you are a good boy or girl” is a common saying to children before Christmas. (I am sure it is the same all over the world).

Incidentally, Christmas in Japan lasts until December 25. This is because supermarkets and department stores have to switch to New Year’s goods and decorations overnight.

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