In Japan, Christmas isn’t a national holiday. If December 25th falls on a weekday then it’s just a normal workday in Japan.
But that said, クリスマス (X-mas) is still a big holiday in Japan. Not the biggest though…the most important holiday in Japan is 正月 (New Years).
To summarize though, Christmas isn’t the same in Japan as it is in Western countries.
Even though New Years is Japan’s biggest holiday, stores and streets in Japan put up X-mas decorations on November 1st (as soon as the Halloween decorations come down) and take them down on December 26th.
On December 26th in Japan, the Xmas decorations are quickly replaced with New Years decorations which stay up until around January 5th.
So Japan is decorated for the imported holiday of Christmas for fifty-six days but only about two weeks for New Years.
Basically the image of X-mas in Japan is a romantic evening for couples on クリスマス・イヴ (Christmas Eve) and a day for families with children on クリスマス (Christmas Day).
One of the popular dates spots for couples on and before X-mas Eve is to look at クリスマス・イルミネーション (X-mas lights (or, as they’re called in Japan, “Christmas illumination“)).
There is a website that shows some of the best 「全国イルミネーション・スポット」 (Illumination Spots around Japan).
One part of that website lists 「イルミネーションおすすめスポット Best 5」 (“Top 5 Recommended Illumination Spots”).
The list is:
- 「六本木ヒルズ Artelligent Christmas 2010」 (“Roppongi Hills Artelligent Christmas 2010” in Tokyo, Japan)
- 「神戸ルミナリェ」 (“Kobe Luminarie” in Kobe, Japan)
- 「２０１０SENDAI光のページェント」 (“2010 Sendai Light Pageant” in Sendai, Japan)
- 「第３０回さっぽろホワイトイルミネーション」 (“30th Sapporo White Illumination” in Sapporo, Japan)
- 「OSAKA光のルネサンス２０１０」 (“Osaka Light Renaissance 2010” in Osaka, Japan)
Also, check out this post that I wrote with photos of the X-mas illumination at Tokyo Tower and in Roppongi, Tokyo.
And also this one that I wrote about Omotesando, Tokyo turning the X-mas illumination back on last year after eleven years of not decorating.
How is Christmas celebrated where you live? Are stores already decorated for X-mas? Is looking at 「クリスマス・イルミネーション」 (X-mas lights) popular?