For most Japanese, Christmas is viewed as a joyous event rather than a religious celebration.
As early as November, you can see the Christmas atmosphere everywhere in Japan.
This article will introduce the characteristics of Christmas in Japan and the 10 most popular ways of enjoying Christmas among Japanese people.
If you are in Japan and planning to spend Christmas here, please check it out.
- Characteristics of Christmas in Japan
- 10 ways to enjoy Japanese Christmas
Characteristics of Christmas in Japan
Christmas is a winter event
For the Japanese, Christmas is seen as a fun winter event rather than a religious celebration.
Only about 1% of Japanese people are Christians, but Christmas is enjoyed by people everywhere in Japan.
Japanese people love cheerful ideas related to Christmas such as Santa Claus, pine trees, music and gifts.
No need to wait until December, but right after Halloween ends, you will see everywhere in Japan people starting to decorate pine trees and string lights to brighten the roads.
Christmas is about eating fried chicken and cake
Instead of turkey, Japanese people eat fried chicken on Christmas day.
This tradition originates from KFC Japan’s “Kentucky for Christmas” advertising campaign in the 1970s. It can be seen that this campaign was extremely successful when to this day, every Christmas there are long lines of people waiting in line to buy KFC fried chicken.
Another standard dish that is indispensable at Christmas in Japan is cake. The most popular are strawberry cake, chocolate cake and log cake.
Cakes are so popular at Christmas that they can be difficult to get if you don’t order them in advance.
Christmas is a holiday for lovers
In Japan, for lovers, Christmas is considered Valentine’s Day.
Couples will plan a romantic date, such as dinner at a luxury restaurant or a walk to see Christmas lights.
If it’s a weekend, they will sometimes travel or drive on a date.
Confessing love or proposing marriage on Christmas is also very common on this occasion.
10 ways to enjoy Japanese Christmas
Have a party at home
Having a party at home on the night of December 24 is the most popular way to celebrate Christmas in Japan.
Usually, the whole family will gather together and eat fried chicken and cream cakes.
If you gather with friends, each person will prepare a small gift to exchange with each other.
Japanese people also like to create a Christmas atmosphere by decorating pine trees and laurel wreaths in their homes.
If you don’t want to invest too much in decorations, you can visit Home Centers or 100 yen shops to buy lovely Christmas decorations at very affordable prices.
Illumination are held everywhere in Japan during the Christmas season.
Go to shopping centers or major stations to admire the brilliant scene created by millions of light bulbs. Walking along the street filled with light makes you feel like you are lost in a fairyland.
Enjoy a luxurious dinner
Some Japanese people choose to enjoy dinner at a luxury restaurant to celebrate Christmas.
French and Italian restaurants are especially popular on this occasion.
If you also plan to celebrate Christmas at the restaurant, the advice is to make reservations very early.
Go to the Christmas market
Around the end of November, many places in Japan will hold Christmas markets.
Here, you can find a lot of cute decorations as well as limited edition Christmas gifts.
Traditional Christmas dishes from many countries are also sold on this occasion. If you are a food lover, you should not miss it!
Join the Christmas event
Large shopping centers also often organize Christmas events to attract customers.
The plus point of these events is that they are completely free and you can visit them at any time. If you just want to experience a little Christmas atmosphere, this is also an option.
Go to an amusement park
Young Japanese people often choose amusement parks to celebrate Christmas. Among them, Disney Land and Universal Studios Japan are the top two locations chosen.
If you want to participate in a splendid parade with Mikey Mouse and Donald Duck to the sound of exciting Christmas music, visit Disney Land.
Or if you want to dance with Minions in Christmas costumes, quickly book tickets to Universal Studios Japan now.
Buy a gift
Giving gifts at Christmas is traditionally traditional among couples, but recently, single people are also buying gifts for themselves as a reward for their hard work.
If you feel like you’ve tried your best at work or study, you absolutely deserve a Christmas gift!
A short trip to enjoy Christmas is also the choice of many Japanese people, especially couples.
If it’s a sunny day or a weekend, they often choose to drive to another province to see the sights or stay at a motel.
Inns with natural hot springs are also especially popular on this occasion. If you plan to go, you should book in advance.
Go to the church
If you want to experience something different this Christmas season, why not visit church?
Don’t worry if you’re not Catholic, because the church is open to everyone. And of course there are absolutely no solicitations so you can rest assured.
You can just admire the decorations in the church or even attend Mass if you visit at the right time.
Christmas Mass is usually held on the evening of December 24 and usually lasts about an hour and a half.
The solemn and spiritual atmosphere at the church will definitely bring you a completely new Christmas experience.
Christmas is a fun winter event in Japan. For lovers, Christmas is also considered the “Second Valentine’s Day”.
Japanese people perceive Christmas in their own way and experience it in many different ways.
Many people like to hold cozy parties at home, while some people like to go to famous locations to enjoy illumination. Couples often go on dates at luxury restaurants, and groups of friends often gather at amusement parks to dance and scream their hearts out to the sound of Christmas music.
Hopefully this article will help you find ideas to spend a wonderful Christmas season in Japan! Merry Christmas!