food

5 festive facts about Japanese Christmas cakes

7 Comments
By Anisa Kazemi

Christmas Eve in Japan is celebrated more like Valentine’s Day is in America and Europe. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, and on the day itself, young couples bask in all things lovey-dovey like taking arm-in-arm city strolls to see the illuminations, wandering around the Christmas markets, sharing a romantic meal at expensive restaurants and eating obligatory “Christmas” cake.

However, Japanese Christmas cake is not rich, fruit-laden or even spiced with ginger. Instead, it is a light sponge cake, covered in whipped cream and decorated with fresh strawberries. And it’s delicious.

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1. It’s everywhere

“Christmas” cake is so dominant in Japanese culture that during the festive season, it is literally sold on every corner. Don’t believe me? Just visit your nearest 7-Eleven. During the month of December, I guarantee you will find various Christmas cakes frosted with mounds of fresh cream, ruby red strawberries and a variety of chocolate or plastic holiday ornaments including Santas, snowmen, angels, wreaths, and holly at each location. The range is usually sponsored by a celebrity or idol group. This year’s offerings are endorsed by Jonny’s idol group King & Prince. Say “kakkoiiiiii“.

2. There’s an emoji for it

Not once but twice the Japanese Christmas cake features as the only cake emoji in our smartphone emoji selection. Yes, those are no ordinary shortcakes! You’re free to use them all year round, though.

3. It has vulgar connotations

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

7 Comments
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Overpriced and way overrated!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The 3rd point is interesting because it seems to be a fact that many foreigners are aware of but a lot of Japanese people are not. I've mentioned it to several Japanese people and the reactions are usually that they have no idea what I'm talking about, and when I explain it they just mention how it sounds like something that possibly existed in the Showa era but no one thinks about it anymore. Almost every foreigner site that talks about Japanese Christmas and the Christmas Cake discusses this fact however, in a way we're the ones who are perpetrating the harmful stereotype!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My Welsh nana made the best Christmas cake in January which went into a tin in a dark place until December. One whole year. Dark rich fruit with brandy or sherry. I can still smell it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Almost every foreigner site that talks about Japanese Christmas and the Christmas Cake discusses this fact however, in a way we're the ones who are perpetrating the harmful stereotype!

Yeh I looked it up and most of the results were foreigner reactions translated to Japanese. Never heard of this, but seems like a very old stereotype. Nowadays Japanese women get married at around age 29 on average.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Instead, it is a light sponge cake, covered in whipped cream and decorated with fresh strawberries

In other words, a generic sponge cake which you can get 365 days of the year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

boring

1 ( +1 / -0 )

KFC or sponge cake to celebrate Christmas.

Maybe both.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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