It’s Christmas time…and Xmas is celebrated in Japan, but not to the extent that it is in Western countries.
In Japan, New Years is the biggest holiday. Actually, Xmas isn’t a legal holiday here…I mean, it’s a work day (unless it falls on the weekend).
Click here to read my short FAQ about Xmas in Japan. And click here to read my short FAQ about Japanese New Years.
In Japan, クリスマス (Christmas) is mainly for couples and families with children.
Couples often go on a date to look and クリスマス・イルミネーション (Xmas illumination).
(Click here to visit a website that shows many places around Japan to see クリスマス・イルミネーション (Xmas illumination). (That site’s in 日本語 (Japanese) only)).
And they may also go to 東京ディズニーリゾート (Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea) for the Disney Christmas event that they have there (of course, this is less popular with couples who aren’t in the Tokyo area).
Families with children may also go to 東京ディズニーリゾート (Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea), if they’re in this area.
But in Japan, most homes aren’t decorated for Xmas…especially uncommon are Christmas trees. Stores and shopping malls, on the other hand, are very decorated for Christmas from November until Xmas day (after that, the decorations quickly change to the more important New Years decorations).
In Japan, Santa Clause will leave presents near the pillows of young children in Japan on Christmas Eve. On average, Japanese children receive fewer Xmas presents than children in Western countries.
On Christmas Day, it’s popular for families to have a Christmas dinner. But it’s different from Xmas dinners in other countries.
When Japanese people think of Christmas dinner, most think of Kentucky Fried Chicken® and a strawberry poundcake that is called クリスマス・ケーキ (Christmas cake).
Kentucky Fried Chicken® started a campaign about thirty years ago at Christmastime by decorating their shops for the holiday and offering set meals advertised as American style Christmas dinners.
And now, on Christmas Day, Kentucky Fried Chicken® always has long lines outside their stores and their deliverymen are driving all around town on the Kentucky Fried Chicken® mopeds.
The KFC 「パーティ・バーレル」 (“Party Barrel“):
At Christmastime, KFC Japan even sells 1% alcohol bottles of “Christmas champagne”.
Kentucky Fried Chicken® isn’t the only ones busy at Christmas in Japan, cake shops have lines of customers buying the クリスマス・ケーキ (Christmas cakes):