Christmas In Japan

Japan’s main religion is Buddhism which means that Christmas is less of a religious festival and more of a reason to get together with family, eat great food and create lots of quirky festive things. Here’s a quick look at some.

Christmas Cake

Japanese Christmas Cake is totally different to the good old British fruit cake. It does have fruit, but they’re luscious strawberries sitting amidst whipped cream on vanilla sponge cake. Of course, everyone’s take on decorating is different.


Christmas Sushi Cake

Sushi burritos & bagels are forgotten during the Festive season and, instead, certain restaurants will offer customers a cake made entirely of sushi. Probably better for the waistline than normal cake too.


A lot of Japanese people visit KFC on Christmas Day – it’s become a huge deal to order your family bucket of finger lickin’ chicken in recent decades. The trend began when the KFC logo of Colonel Sanders was attired in Christmas garb one year and it just caught on.


Festive figurine

The anime character Fuchiko is a Christmas must-have to adorn your gingerbread latte or cinnamon cappuccino. Decked out like Santa, these little figurines hang from a mug to make sure no surface goes unadorned.


Christmas Lights

No-one does Christmas illuminations quite like the Japanese. Throughout the country, trees and gardens, buildings and streets are adorned with tasteful displays. To not to be missed include Osaka’s Kaiyukan Aqurium and Tokyo Station.

Christmas at Kaiyukan Aquarium



Although we think of Europe as the stronghold of Christmas markets, they’re to be found across Japan. You can even find mulled wine which is the most popular drink of the season over there.

Festive Songs

No Christmas is complete anywhere in the world without the good old Christmas anthems. Japanese pop culture is no different with these being their top sing-a-long-Santas:


  • Tatsuro Yamashita – Christmas Eve
  • Junichi Inagaki – At the Time for Christmas Carol
  • Yumi Matsutouya – My Baby Santa Claus
  • Keisuke Kuwata – Snow White
  • B’z – Itsuka no Meery Christmas


Christmas Bonsai

You’ll find traditional Xmas trees in Japan but you’ll also find bonsai trees being decked out in seasonal style.


Whilst cinnamon and gingerbread might be our traditionally Christmassy spices, yuzu is found everywhere in Christmas food and drink in Japan. There are yuzu Kit-kats, Yuzu tea and even yuzu bubble bath.