Christmas in Japan

Christmas has only been widely celebrated in Japan for the last few decades.  It’s still not seen as a religious holiday or celebration as there aren’t many Christians in Japan, and it isn’t a national holiday.  Now several customs that introduced to Japan such as sending and receiving Christmas Cards and Presents are popular.  In Japan, Christmas is known as more of a time to spread happiness rather than a religious celebration.  Christmas Eve is often celebrated more than Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve is thought of as the most romantic day of the year.  While the traditional western Christmas revolves around family, in Japan it’s more about spending time with your significant other.  Young couples go out for dinner and take romantic strolls to enjoy beautiful festive lights. 

My Christmas when I was little was to eat KFC fried chicken.  It’s silly, but I remember getting on a bus to go get KFC fried chicken every Christmas.  I could hardly wait to go home to eat the yummy KFC fried chicken, and smelled sooooo  good.  There was an advertising campaign by KFC in the 1970s called “Kentucky for Christmas!” (“クリスマスにはケンタッキー” / Kurisumasu ni wa kentakki!!) which was very successful and this made KFC very popular for Christmas in Japan.
Have a wonderful month, and Merry Christmas!!

Chie Schiller
Board Chair / Executive President