Some people were asking me before I left if they celebrate Christmas in Japan…

The 25th isn’t a national holiday here and New Years day is traditionally a much bigger deal but walk down any street in Tokyo and it’s impossible to miss the fact that it’s that time of year. And just like in England Christmas here is all about that big bearded guy that we remember once a year… yes Father Christmas of course, ho ho ho!

The Japanese are absolutely crazy about Christmas decorations. Even before the 1st December the streets were littered with them. Here are just a from few the streets around our house.

The big man himself features heavily…

As do a supporting cast of reindeer, elves and snowmen…

Cute dogs are of course also represented…

As are anime characters of all shapes and sizes. Mmmmm, Christmas Anpanman

Some other food-based Christmas decorations are arguably a little less appetising,  such as this display platter of Christmas fried chicken found in a local branch of Denny’s…

Yes there really are Christmas decorations everywhere in Japan!

The funny thing is how christmas-y it feels here given the lack of any religious significance. In some ways I suppose it’s not that different in modern-day secular Britain. But here there’s an almost refreshing lack of any cynicism about the commercialisation. Santa Claus is welcomed with open arms and the whole season is a celebration of kitsch, cuteness and present giving

But back to fried chicken though  and there’s one aspect of Christmas commercialisation here that I find harder to stomach and that’s the annual KFC feast. Anyone for a Christmas bucket?!

I’ll leave you with our very own bit of Christmas kitsch, the kawaii wreath hanging on our front door. Merry Christmas everyone, will be missing you (and a turkey with all the trimmings) this year!

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