Christmas in Japan is hyped by large corporations who have created a Hallmark Holiday of sorts. It is more a commercial holiday than a traditional one, but is popular nonetheless and the Christmas atmosphere in the cities is enchanting. Some Japanese families have established their own Christmas traditions and this once predominantly commercial holiday has transformed into a significant one for many. For the majority, it's another reason to celebrate. Japan fun facts about Christmas are plenty. There is a relatively small percentage of Christians in Japan, but there are a slew of holiday customs. From what Christmas carols are sung in Japan, to food, and other practices, foreigners might be surprised at what they'll find in Japan over the Christmas season.
Christmas Eve in Japan is celebrated by eating a "Christmas cake." It is found in stores all over the Tokyo, Kobe, Okinawa, and all other cities in Japan. The media has also hyped Christmas Eve to be an occasion for romantic marvels. Instead of staying in Christmas Eve, most couples go out. The evening is seen as an opportunity to spend time with one's significant other, much like Valentine's Day, which means most fine dining establishments and luxury hotels are booked up. Any invitations to the other sex have added meaning. Revealing a crush on Christmas Eve has become a tradition too.
Many visitors on Christmas vacations want to know what Christmas carols are sung in Japan. Since the Japanese have a longstanding reputation for a great love of celebrating, it's no surprise that Christmas carols are sung with glee. Some common carols are Western favorites including Joy to the World, Silent Night, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and O Come All Ye Faithful. Inquiring into what Christmas carols are sung in Japan when visiting the country might even get you serenaded as the Japanese love to sing them!
Christmas reveals other Japan fun facts like the adoption of an array of Western customs like tree decorating, holiday parties, festive foods, and gift giving. Gift giving is particularly interesting in that even though urban-based Japanese are known to be steady consumers of modern delights, they enjoy buying "cute" gifts such as teddy bears and other stuffed items. Scarves, flowers, and jewelry are other common gifts. Independent stores, shopping malls, and other retail outlets are adorned in Christmas decorations. Outdoors, in cities and even some rural areas, trees are lit up brightly with lights. Given all these festive pursuits, Christmas in Japan is not known as a family occasion.
Anyone wanting to know what Christmas carols are sung in Japan might be interested in another custom, second only to Christmas cakes; Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. It has become tradition for many Japanese theaters to present a concert featuring this classic. It is referred to as Daiku, or Great Nine. Along with this tradition, another common tradition surfaces, the cooking and eating of a turkey or chicken. Christmas food in Japan has also come to include a traditional Kentucky Fried Chicken meal. Of all the Japan fun facts about Christmas, this one seems a bit unusual. The KFC corporation launched such a compelling advertising program over the years that there are huge lines at KFC on Christmas Day, and many make reservations for "Christmas Chicken" well ahead.
There are also many great Christmas snow deals in Japan, for anyone heading out to the ski resorts over the holiday season. Hokkaido is a well-known ski resort and vacation spot during December and is a beautiful place to spend Christmas. No matter where you come from or how you celebrate, Christmas in Japan is an experience to remember.