Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day is the special day in Japan. It is usually a time for couples to go out on a romantic dinner date and restaurants and hotels are usually fully booked out during this time. Christmas Eve is celebrated with a fancy Christmas cake. The cake usually consists of a sponge cake covered in whipped cream and topped with strawberries.
Christmas food in Japan includes traditional KFC fried chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken has become synonymous with Christmas in Japan since they launched their advertising campaign in the 1970s. You will usually see the Colonel dressed up in Santa gear around this time. There are long lines at KFC on Christmas Day and many people pre-order their Christmas feast well in advance to avoid missing out.
The retail stores and shopping malls scattered all around Japan have been the most enthusiastic about Christmas, with large Christmas trees, Santa Clauses and seasonal decorations out in force several weeks or months in advance.
Over the last few years, more and more people are starting to celebrate Christmas like we do in the west. They are taking up traditions such as decorating their home, exchanging gifts and having a nice Christmas dinner. The Winter Illuminations have become a big deal during this time with magical displays put on by several places. My favourite has to be the Winter Illuminations at Nabana no Sato in Mie Prefecture.
How to spend a Festive Christmas in Japan like back home
There are several places in Gifu/Nagoya, my home in Japan that have the goodies you need to make a Festive Christmas just like at home.
Plant6 in Ogaki has a range of cheeses, party foods, snacks, cookies and meats.
Amika in Akenabe-cho and Masaki has a large range of frozen meats including whole chickens.
FrancFranc in Nagoya Parco has lots of different Christmas decorations as well as Tokyu Hands in Takashimiya Nagoya.
Loft in Gifu City and Sakae Nagoya also has lots of Christmas decorations and stationary like Christmas cards.
Kaldi in Diamond City and Masa21, has lots of different imported food such as chocolate, candy and snacks for those Christmas stockings.
In the Tokyo area, check out places like
Precce for a variety of cheeses, party foods and speciality items for Christmas.
Nissin World Delicatessen for whole turkeys and fixings for stuffing.
Kinokuniya has several traditional style Christmas decorations.
Seijoishi import grocery store has lots of different imported candy and cookies.
Ikea last year was selling real Christmas trees for ¥1990 and also have a good range of Christmas decorations.
FrancFranc and Tokyu Hands have loads of Christmas tree decorations.
Loft also has lots of Christmas decorations and stationary like Christmas cards.
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas
|Light Tunnel at Nabana no Sato|