Christmas in Japan is a time for beautiful lights, good food, and romantic dates with loved ones.

The iconic Tokyo Tower and Sky Tree shine special lights, and the city streets glow with bright LED decorations. Japan has quite a unique way of celebrating this religious festival.

Most Japanese people are not Christian. However, it is celebrated nation-wide. The majority celebrate the seasonal holiday just for fun. This is due to the fact that Christmas is more commercialized than it is relgious. In fact, the Japanese Christmas custom, to eat chicken and cake for dinner, was created by two large companies. Their business strategies succeeded, making their food a tradition for the whole country.

In Western countries, Christmas is a time for family. However, in Japan, it is perceived as a romantic holiday. So, couples celebrate with each other, while single friends celebrate together.

If you walk around Japan during the cold winter nights, you will see a l0t of Christmas lights. Despite the English name of the twinkling festive lights, in Japan we call them “illumination” in general. It seems as though the association of Christmas and these lights is fading. As a matter of fact, most of the lights you see in the city streets are not themed for this winter holiday. There are no reindeers, angels, and no Santa Clauses climbing chimneys.

Still, Christmas in Japan is a joyous time. There are many events to feel the merry atmosphere and great retailer stores to go present shopping.

Sky "Christmas" Tree

Sky “Christmas” Tree

Blue Christmas lights

Blue Christmas lights connecting Harajuku and Shibuya

Festive drink from Godiva

Festive drink from Godiva

Tokyo Tower seen from Roppongi Hills

Tokyo Tower seen from Roppongi Hills