Christmas time in Tokyo

We already discussed about how the Japanese "celebrate" Christmas, a semi-religious (pagan then Christian) and semi-marketing (Coca-Cola and their Santa Claus) celebration, whose implications in Japan have long been quite minor. Only 2% of the population is Christian in Japan, whereas the vast majority of the Japanese are Shinto and Buddhist.

The Coca-Cola part thus takes over Christmas in Japan. Japanese people don't see it (yet?) as an opportunity to offer presents and spend time with their family, but perhaps rather as a romantic event. What strikes every visitor in Japan, however, is the incredible presence of Christmas decorations everywhere, and especially in Tokyo. Their appear almost starting from November 1st, immediately after Halloween.

Tokyo decorates its squares, buildings and walks with Christmas ornaments. Many stores adorn their shelves with kawaii decorations and broadcast songs and traditional music that rocked our Decembers since childhood.

In my opinion, some of the most beautifully decorated areas for Christmas in Tokyo are:

  • Shinjuku Southern Terrace, opposite the south exit of the JR subway station
  • Ginza district and especially its large shopping avenue, a little more luxurious with all major brands which redecorate their stores and even entire buildings!
  • Omotesando in Harajuku, one of the biggest shopping streets of the japanese capital
  • Tokyo Sky Tree, which hosts a Christmas market inspired by the famous one in Strasbourg, France
  • Christmas Midtown in Roppongi, in Tokyo Midtown

There are also Christmas decorations elsewhere in Japan, especially in large cities (Kyoto and others).

Merry Christmas メリー クリスマス to you all!

Photo gallery

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Posted by Gael
Editor in chief
Gael is founder and responsible for Kanpai's publication. In love with Japanese culture, he travels to Japan regularly since 2003 and shares his information and tips.
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