Well, besides that fact that I don’t know anyone in this country with an oven big enough to cook a whole turkey, Christmas in Japan shares some common traits with its North American counterpart, but there are sure some unique differences here.
I think one of my favourite traditions here is the Christmas cake. When I think of this lovely treat, I think of the cake I had in Canada. You know the one, the heavy cake laden with fruits, nuts and of course rum. It is something that people re-gift to friends and foes. It is a tradition that just won’t go away. In Japan, the concept of this cake has been transformed to a fluffy white cake with no distinct flavour, lots of white icing and is decorated with strawberries. It is a treat that you can order from any convenience store, grocery store, and even from the post office…who will send it your loved ones anywhere in Japan.
Another aspect to Christmas in Japan is the romantic element. In western countries, this season is about friends and family, but here in Japan, it has become the preeminent couples time of year, eclipsing even Valentine’s Day. This is a time where strolling under the special illuminated areas in major cities is the ultimate romantic gesture.
No matter where you go in Japan, you know that the holiday season is upon you, and for a country that is primarily Buddhist or Shinto in religion, this is pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see what this year’s big trend items will be! Merry Christmas everyone!