Enjoying Christmas in Japan: What to Do & Where to Go

Updated On October 8, 2023
Christmas decoration

Going on holidays or just living abroad, it’s important to know local traditions so you can have a great time.

Those who are going to spend Christmas in Japan, you should be aware that local traditions are slightly different.

Nevertheless, it’s not so hard to find all you need to have a great Christmas eve in the country of the rising sun.

Of course, you may be obliged to spend your holiday in a different way than at home but still, it will be great.

Considering that Christianity isn’t widespread in Japan, Christmas is more a holiday of joy than the religious one.

In fact, it became popular in Japan only about 20 years ago.

It was adopted mainly because of the growing domination of American culture in the country.

Nowadays, lots of locals really admire this holiday and even develop some unique traditions.

Japanese tradition
Japanese tradition

Christmas Eve

In fact, in Japan, Christmas Eve is more popular and important than the Christmas Day itself.

It’s time when Japanese couples go on some romantic dates to spend some time together in order to cherish their love and give presents to each other,

In other words, it reminds slightly the St Valentines Day in Japan.

As a result, all restaurants are booked and lots of couples stroll around the cities in order to admire some beautiful spots.

If you want to spend Christmas Eve in some restaurant, just think twice and better have your celebration on December, 25th.

Christmas Eve dinner
Christmas Eve dinner

Disney Parade on Christmas

Despite the fact that Christmas Eve is more popular in Japan, there are still lots of celebrations on Christmas Day as well.

While December, 25th is a working day in Japan, most students have vacations and those who are in Tokyo don’t lose the chance to the Christmas Day Parade.

It’s an annual event in Tokyo Disneyland.

It’s an absolutely exciting and beautiful event where you can see all Disney characters and Santa Clause.

Disneyland Parade
Disneyland Parade


Lots of people all over the world have some Asian food for their Christmas dinner.

At the same time, Japanese people prefer fast food and usually have some KFS stuff.

It became really popular when KFS was opened in Japan in 1970 and held a catchy marketing campaign.

Considering there were no specific Christmas traditions in Japan, the company promoted its products as traditional Christmas dishes.

If you have a sweet tooth, there is a great choice of Christmas dessert.

Classical Christmas log cake is really popular in Japan but still, most pastries offer Japanese Christmas Cake.

It’s a sponge cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

In fact, it has lots in common with a strawberry shortcake.

Japanese Cake
Japanese Cake


If you need to buy some Christmas presents in Japan, you should visit some Christmas market in your area.

Those markets are very similar to those that you can see in various European cities and towns during Christmas season.

Usually, it’s a bunch of outdoor stalls that offer various handmade crafts, Santa Clause figures, Christmas trees, snowmen and so on.

In fact, even spending Christmas in Japan, you’ll be able to find lots of traditional European stuff for Christmas celebration.

In case if you want to buy some specific present, you should visit some local malls.

There you can find almost anything, including Christmas trees, decorations, and lots of other things.

Also, most malls offer special discounted prices for the holidays.

Christmas shopping
Christmas shopping

Street Lighting Displays

Japanese people absolutely adore lights.

In fact, there are lots of displays in various cities the whole year but the truth is that during the Christmas season, they become even more bright and festive.

Lighting displays are everywhere around the city, in parks, on streets in malls.

The most famous spots in Tokyo are Tokyo Midtown, Inokashira, and Roppongi Sakurazaka.

Christmas lights
Christmas lights

Japan Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Japan Safety Review

Safety Index:

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest