Arama They Didn't

5:37 pm - 12/09/2012

Japanese Christmas Is For Lovers

Christmas in Japan is a time for romance. Streets of major cities are filled with smiling couples walking hand in hand and restaurants and hotels are booked full, sometimes months in advance.

On the flip side, Christmas can be an extremely lonely time for those longing for some holiday affection but without anyone to give it to them. Single people therefore usually make it a rule to avoid going out on the 24 and 25—in fact, if you ever want to figure out if a Japanese person is single, just ask if they have plans for Christmas.

The lucky ones, however, generally follow the basic Christmas game plan outlined below!

1. Go on a romantic walk at one of the magnificent “Illumination” Christmas light displays on Christmas Eve. Here in Tokyo, the most well-known is at Omotesandō, an upscale shopping street in the Shibuya ward.

2、Have dinner at the restaurant that reserved in advanced (good luck finding a seat that night otherwise!). After your meal, eat Christmas cake for desert and finally, exchange gifts. Jewelry rings and necklaces are common examples for women.

3. After dinner, proceed to the hotel room that you reserved in advanced (some people opt for a sleep-over instead) and jingle all the way.

And that’s Christmas! Well, if you’ve got someone to share it with, that is.

Of course, it has become common in recent years for families with small children to celebrate at home—though even that is usually limited to a special fried chicken dinner sponsored by KFC, Christmas cake for desert and presents for the kids from Santa in the morning.

It seems that Christmas has also come to be celebrated as a couple’s holiday in our mainland neighbor, South Korea. Many couple even countdown to Christmas day and kiss when the clock strikes midnight ala Western New Years tradition. However, the holiday has yet to take root in the county and is probably only popular with young people in urban areas.

2coco 10th-Dec-2012 01:07 am (UTC)

whatever, it sounds like fun to me even though it's not a religious holiday in Japan.
dearmisterecho 10th-Dec-2012 01:47 am (UTC)
My first Christmas in Japan was spent traveling around Hokkaido alone, and my second Christmas I went back to the States to see my family, so this year will be my first "at home" Japanese Christmas. yes, my boyfriend and I reserved a KFC bucket (comes with Xmas cake of course) for the 24th and plan on seeing a big famous illumination about an hour away from town. I can't wait!
atelierlune 10th-Dec-2012 02:09 am (UTC)
The idea of reserving KFC is unusual to me. Is it like special orders at a bakery where you pick it up the day of and it's in special holiday packaging?
dearmisterecho 10th-Dec-2012 02:10 am (UTC)
it's exactly that! my BF set a reservation day/time at our local KFC so he can go pick it up hot and ready on Christmas Eve :3
hadashi_no_eden 10th-Dec-2012 02:07 am (UTC)
I have a friend who lives in Japan and she took a picture of the line coming out of KFC on Christmas Eve. It was insane.

exdream1999 10th-Dec-2012 02:10 am (UTC)

We have posts like this every year.  Japan doesn't do a Western style Christmas because their big family holiday is New Year's.

Fun fact: ZIP! did a special report about why Japanese Xmas became a couples holiday, and they found out it was because of an article an-an published in the 80s or 90s.

In other news: I'm currently in line for Arashi concert goods.  Tokyo Dome is brilliant and has three areas set up and I ended up in the line that is mostly indoors!   (o^-')b !

exdream1999 10th-Dec-2012 07:57 am (UTC)
That's the plan!

I can't believe their 15th anniversary is coming up already, I tried to join in time for the 5x10 concert, but I was out doing a camp when my membership came and I missed the dealine to apply. (At that time you still had to ballot by mail, instead of online like you can do now.)
eishastan 10th-Dec-2012 02:20 am (UTC)
I don't think of christmas as a religious holiday at all, but for me it's all about family, so thinking about spending such an important holiday with your current boo is weird in my eyes.
k0dama 10th-Dec-2012 03:10 am (UTC)
Welp it does take two to make a baby, and that's what x-mas is all about?

There's nothing in the bible saying x-mas is when parents and children should gather together.
x_reggg 10th-Dec-2012 06:39 am (UTC)
uh.... that picture is of Hong Kong :x

Just saying.
furanuki 10th-Dec-2012 08:39 am (UTC)
Call me crazy, but I would never want to spend my holidays in two aka with my boyfriend exclusively. It's just sounds so... lonely? Maybe it's because I've always had a lot of people in the house on Christmas Eve, and even if right now I do live in Japan, I'd rather do something... in a group? I'd love to experiences a Christmas dinner with friends (like they do in movies :D) but one on one with with my boyfriend? Maybe in a few years ;)
original_egao 10th-Dec-2012 09:49 am (UTC)
Japanese Christmas effings sucks. it's a souless hollow pile of crap. have some chicken and feel lonely or go on a stupid date like you could do any other day. I feel sorry for japanese children, western christmas is amazing.
exdream1999 10th-Dec-2012 10:43 am (UTC)
You do realize that this little article from a website isn't the be all and end all on what Christmas is like in Japan?

Plenty of Japanese kids celebrate Christmas in a western way. Complete with believing in Santa. I knew someone who assumed that Japanse six-year-olds wouldn't believe in Santa, and ending up ruining their Christmas because, shock turn of events, they did believe in Santa.

Also, if it helps, Japanese people often find our New Year's hollow and shallow because all we do is stay up until midnight and maybe get drunk.
royu_kiyo 10th-Dec-2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
lol +1
pandapaw 10th-Dec-2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
i toterly agree!
aikkai 10th-Dec-2012 11:37 am (UTC)
ahahha I invited my japanese friend over for christmas with my family since he didn't have any plans for the 24th and he wants to see how we celebrate it in sweden, and I just realized that I will have to prepare myself for all the "is he your boyfriend?" questions from the extended family.
My mom seems to be over the moon since I told her so I suspect that she has some wild idea that I'm secretly dating him or something...
stole_away 10th-Dec-2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
well, it's their choice how they celebrate it I guess...
metafora91 10th-Dec-2012 02:50 pm (UTC)
lol "jingle all the way"
inachan89 10th-Dec-2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna spend it with my family,my brother too even if he has got a girlfriend=) people can spend it the way they want,there isn't a fixed way lol
palamecian 10th-Dec-2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
I still don't get why the Japanese link KFC with Christmas. I bet the KFCs in Japan must taste better than those in the United States or something.
exdream1999 11th-Dec-2012 12:37 am (UTC)
It's because turkey was hard to get in Japan for a long time, so Americans started going to KFC as the next best thing.   After noticing this KFCs in Japan started advertising fried chicken as a Christmas thing.</p>

Also, Japanese KFC is just as rank as US KFC.

palamecian 11th-Dec-2012 01:13 am (UTC)
A believable explanation, one I hadn't thought of. Although, I'm rather disappointed that Japanese KFC branches are still just as...well...bad.
exdream1999 11th-Dec-2012 01:53 am (UTC)
I forget who wrote it, but there's an English that has an interview with the manager of the KFC store that started the whole thing.
pandapaw 10th-Dec-2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
the time u actuly meet someone you will wanna wish you never met them xD.

why is japan obsest with romance?
people have to hold other people all the time, its like lets all cram together and have a good time
wow germs all the way

chochajin 11th-Dec-2012 02:32 am (UTC)
When I first came to Japan it was really strange to experience such a different x-mas and New Years, but now after many years I got used to it.
I didn't have a real Christmas in over 6 years, sounds sad, but it's ok! ^^

I wrote about Japanese Christmas in detail here, so check it out if you like.
johnnypenn 11th-Dec-2012 03:45 am (UTC)

I feel so bad for all the American's over there, what do they do in Japan besides try to have all the traditions they remember from home?
Do the kids believe in a Santa Clause person? are there Christmas specials?
And what do women do when they want to save their virginity for that one guy they want to marry but their current boyfriend thinks it's a good idea to jingle all the way on Christmas bloody eve? omg.
exdream1999 11th-Dec-2012 05:59 am (UTC)
It's really easy to do Christmas in Japan. 
The hardest part is a turkey, if you want that over a ham.  Everything else is so easy to come by you can get it at the 100 yen shop.</p>

This article only pointing things that are unique to Japanese Christmas.

In lots of younger Japanese families do Christmas, and so their kids believe in Santa. 

This page was loaded Feb 22nd 2017, 5:36 pm GMT.