Christmas in Japan

Christmas in Japan? Get Ready for Running Trees, Dazzling Lights, and Fried Chicken

One of the hottest Japan memes over the past month has been photos and videos of Joseph Tame running around Tokyo in his “Wearable Christmas Tree.”

While Tame may not be originally from Japan, his whimsical exploits resonate with a country that has embraced Christmas in its own unique way.

For many Japanese people, the month of December marks the start of “illumination“, where public places all over Japan are lit up. Christmas trees often take center stage. Almost every corner of Tokyo is lit up in some way.

The city of Kobe in western Japan is also famous for its December illumination, called the Kobe Luminarie. The tradition began eleven months after the Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 raise raise spirits after Kobe was virtually destroyed.

Golden Christmas tree in Ginza Takana jewelry store in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan. Author: NJo
Golden Christmas tree in Ginza Takana jewelry store in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan. Author: NJo

Of course, Christmastime in Japan is about more than just stupendous light displays. Christmas Eve is a popular date night for couples, and baked chicken and a desert of Christmas cake requisite parts of the meal. Cake plays a key role in how Japan celebrates Christmas.

And of course, no Christmas in Japan would be complete without Kentucky Fried Chicken.

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Written by Nevin Thompson

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