Magical Christmas in Japan
Japan is a country with complex identities. This is especially shown in the way people celebrate their holidays here. For instance, towards the end of December, a common Japanese family would celebrate the holiday season with three religious traditions: first they enjoy a Christmas meal together, then they ring the New Year bell at a Buddhist temple, and finally they visit a Shinto shrine to say their first prayers – all in the duration of one short week!!
Encouraged by western influences and domestic commerce, Christmas has become a popular occasion for Japan in recent years. However, for the Japanese people, Christmas is more of a romantic holiday than a religious one. On Christmas Eve, you would see couples on expensive dates in restaurants or at “illumination” light shows in downtown areas. In fact, the exchange of gifts is possibly the only consistent ritual Japanese people have taken away from this western holiday.
Some other fascinating holiday traditions have been invented in Japan ever since Christmas was introduced here. To start, fried chicken is often eaten on Christmas day. A successful advertising campaign in the 1970s made eating at KFC almost a national custom. Another traditional Japanese Christmas food is the Christmas cake, which is a white sponge cake covered with cream and decorated with strawberries. The white-and-red color theme of the cake makes it very appropriate for Christmas.
At Takimoto, we are also in full preparation for the joyful season ahead! Last week, we have set up our Christmas tree in the lobby and decorated the area with holiday illuminations. If you’re familiar with our mascot Takimaru, its Christmas ornaments are also sold in our gift shop. We look forward to having you here with us for Christmas, and we wish you a merry holiday season in advance!