Christmas in Japan – the novelty of a Christian holiday


Does Santa visit every year, on Christmas Eve, every part of the world, but even Japan? Christmas is not a national Christian holiday in Japan, but more a holiday that celebrates the American spirit.

The Christmas Day

     As we know it, Christmas is celebrated among family and dedicated to reuniting. Also, New Year’s Eve is an occasion for friends to gather and socialize. In Japan, Christmas is a holiday spent with friends, and New Year’s Eve is a religious celebration spent with family.

Another impressive thing about Christmas in Japan is that Christmas Eve is a romantic holiday, just like Valentine’s Day in America. 


      Another unique thing about Christmas in Japan is the food. People may not know that on Christmas, Japanese people have a custom that involves Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Japanese people book a meal for 6 weeks in advance. Takeshi Okawara introduced a special menu for Christmas in 1970, wanting to bring something familiar for foreigners.  

      Japanese desserts do not contain as much sugar as American ones. As for the sweet treats, on Christmas, Japanese people eat a spongy cake with strawberry flavor. Food on Christmas Day is a symbol of Japanese interest in American cuisine. 

Tokyo Disneyland


On Christmas Day, another thing people can do is visiting Tokyo Disneyland, where some parades and spectacles celebrate Christmas. But on 26th December, they take down all the Christmas decorations and replace them with the New Year’s Eve decorations. More information at


Of course that Santa visits Japan too. Does not he go worldwide? But Hoteiosho brings presents too, a Japanese god of good fortune in Buddist tradition. This Buddist God had his eyes at the back of his head, meaning he can see how the children behave. He has a similar aspect to Santa Claus, having an enormous belly, wearing a red cloth and a sack of toys. 

By celebrating Christmas, Japanese people make this holiday even more unique and attractive. 


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