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.
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
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