Wednesday, December 15

Japan Holiday Traditions

Christmas in Japan 

Who loves to learn about other countries' Christmas and holiday traditions? It is good to know how others celebrate the holiday season, too! Today, I will tell you about Japan's holiday season.

Have you ever heard that in Japan, people eat Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) instead of turkey for Christmas dinner? Yep, that is correct. They go to KFC and have a big chicken dinner and other side dishes. Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan. However, some people in Japan still celebrate on December 24th and 25th. KFC’s busiest day of the year in Japan is December 24th. KFC gets so busy in Japan around the holiday season that people sometimes preorder their holiday meals so they do not have to wait in a long line.


What does your holiday meal consist of?


Facts about the holiday season in Japan:

1. The KFC chicken dinner tradition started in 1974 in Japan. The first Kentucky Fried Chicken appeared in Japan in 1970. It took four years for the tradition to start. Their slogan was Kentucky for Christmas!

2. Takeshi Okawara was the manager of the first KFC in Japan in 1970. Takeshi Okawara promoted party barrels of chicken instead of turkey for the Christmas/Holiday season.

3. The Japanese have winter illuminations and lights during the winter season. They decorate beautiful Christmas trees, train stations, parks, and monuments with lights and illuminations. They have festive Christmas markets where you can shop and buy good food and decorations. Some of the Christmas markets even have nightly performances and light illuminations.  

4. About 1% of the people in Japan are Christian and celebrate the Christmas season. Many Japanese children love Christmas and Santa like the children do in other parts of the world.

5. Strawberry shortcake is a famous cake in Japan around the Christmas/Holiday season. Kurisumasu keki is a Christmas cake in Japan. It is a light sponge cake that is frosted and decorated with strawberries.

6. Christmas Eve in Japan is more for couples. Couples get together and give each other gifts on Christmas Eve. Gifts are exchanged more with family and friends during the New Year celebration.

What is your favorite part about the Christmas/Holiday season?


Books about Japan:

1. Japanese Traditions: by Setsu Broderick

2. Tree of Cranes by Allen Say

3. Introduction to Japanese Culture edited by Daniel Sosnoski

4. All About Japan: by Williamarie Moore

Parents/Caretakers, please be sure books are child-friendly before reading them to your child/children.



  1. Replies
    1. It is definitely cool! Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. I hope you enjoyed and learned something new.


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