Christmas across the world: Japan

Amanda Goh shares what Christmas is like in Japan.

Amanda Goh
4th December 2019
While Christmas has only recently been celebrated widely in Japan, it is not seen as a religious holiday but more about spreading joy and happiness around. Christmas in Japan has also been influenced by some US traditions such as gifts.

Most Japanese families do not decorate their homes with Christmas lights. Instead, there are many public light displays that are called “illuminations” all over major cities such as Kobe and Tokyo. All major cities will typically have at least one big site dedicated solely to illuminations. The picturesque light displays are up throughout most of December and the more popular ones draw huge crowds.

A traditional Japanese Christmas dinner is nothing like ours. No turkeys or puddings, instead, they have big buckets of KFC. As turkey is rarely, or not at all, found in Japan, KFC has used their fried chicken as a marketing campaign as it is as close as they would get to a turkey. Strawberry shortcake is also a favourite during the Christmas season.

Finally, Japan's Disneyland is massively popular during Christmas. Disney hosts Christmas parades which are known to be vibrant with festive costumes and music. Not only is it a great place for families with children but is also a popular date spot for couples on Christmas Eve.

Feature Image Credits: ChampagneFight from Wikicommons

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