EIP Around the World - Japan

To mark the festive season, we spoke to our EIP colleagues who has international background or connection and asked how they celebrate the festivity in their home countries.

Christmas in Japan by Takeshi Osada, Business Development Coordinator

Q. When is your Christmas?

Christianity is not a main religion in Japan, but people love Christmas decorations and atmosphere. Christmas trees usually start to appear in November on the day after Halloween, and quickly disappear after midnight on Boxing day to be replaced by the decorations for NY which is a bigger celebration than Christmas.

Q. Are there any special Christmas dishes or food people eat?

People get crazy about KFC's Christmas buckets. You must book a time slot for collection by mid-November, otherwise you will miss your Christmas treat.

Q. Are there any particular traditions?

Christmas is most popular among young couples and families with small children. For the others it means nothing and it is a normal working day. Young couple (especially boys) are under huge pressure to find the best gift and the most romantic restaurant to impress their date. Traditionally Tiffany's has a long queue outside it in December.

Q. And Music?

The most popular song has been Wham's "Last Christmas". It has a jolly melody but is rather a sad story. Luckily, the majority of Japanese don't speak English so don't understand what the song is about.

Q. Anything else?

Japanese gets bonkers with Christmas illuminations, and cities spend a large part of their annual budget for them. Some of them use more than a million light bulbs. Some can be very impressive, but the others can be very tacky. On the other hand, people hardly have any Christmas decorations at home. It is very rare to see a real Christmas tree in Japanese family homes.