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Do you enjoy spending Christmas in Japan?

37 Comments
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37 Comments
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It has little meaning here other than an excuse to go out and buy KFC....

17 ( +21 / -4 )

If you like living in Japan, then why wouldn’t you? But if Xmas makes you nostalgic for home and the Christmas of your childhood then I’d get that too totally.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I’ve spent Christmas in Japan a couple of times in 20 years. I worked and I think I went for a beer after work one time.

That wasn’t too bad but New Year in Japan was truly miserable. Cold and dead. I’d pay way over the odds to escape it.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Not really. I enjoy chrismas in canada MUCH more. going there this friday. Can't wait!!

16 ( +19 / -3 )

We've spent many Christmases is Japan, and absolutely love it! We take time for family, friends, have very special Christmas times in Japan. It's syougatsu that I cannae endure.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Xmas in Japan is what you make of it. I have built a life and family here. We do our best to balance the traditions of both Japan and Canada. We have double the fun. We enjoy a secular Xmas and Japanese style New Years. If you want to be miserable, go ahead.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

I enjoy it a lot more since starting a family. I used to miss Canada at this time of the year (I have spent 17 of the last 20 Christmases in Japan), but now Christmas is all about making my kids happy in their home. I do still regret not being able to share it with my family back home, but the melancholy I used to feel is now completely gone and I absolutely love Christmas here.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I prefer Christmas and New Year at home, but won't be going back this year. Christmas here is okay, and New Year is only okay because it's usually with friends. I'm looking forward to celebrating it this year, as the last 2 at home were alone. My younger brother passed away December 26th, 2016 and last Christmas and New year was with my mother. She went to bed early on New Year, and passed away in April. So yeah, Christmas in Japan this year will be solemn but not without some cheer.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

With no kids and Christmas a working day when it's not on the weekend (sometimes even then a working day, December is nuts!), and spouse with different culture/no emotional attachment to it, it's just another busy day before New Year's. Sometimes we get a cake or go out to eat. It was only a let-down when I expected it to be somehow like my childhood memories, which I realized was a pretty silly expectation to have after the first one here.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Belrick-

Really sorry to hear about your losses. I hope you find the strength and support to get through these tough times.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Yeah, it's all good. The religious stuff isn't in your face like in the West & you can chill to the real meaning of Xmas. Rampant commercialism, ranting over refugees and dissing the homeless.

It's a most wonderful time of the year.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Agree with rainyday and Gary--after starting a family I started to enjoy it. I've visited my family back home a few times since but I like to be home for Xmas and Japan is home.

That said, when I used to have to work on Xmas I loathed it with every fiber of my being, but now that I think about it, I realize I didn't hate it that much more than when I lived in California, also thousands of miles from my family. Without kids, I reckon Xmas starts to lose its shine no matter where you are. Try being Japanese and celebrating New Year's in the US. Getting drunk and watching college football? That sounds pretty empty and soulless too doesn't it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It's special to me but it's just another day here. Rainy days, Mondays and Christmases in Japan always get me down. I do love New Year's here, though.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Christmas here doesn't quiet carry the same impact as it does in the states! It's just another day here I think its funny that the japanese try to adopt it considering its of christian origin, and the celebration is for the Birthday of a western worshipped god. Seems they just tossed that part of the belief away and pushed SANTA as the main attraction, added a twist of Valentine and you have christmas in Japan and good luck finding a room at any of the love hotels on christmas eve waits for a room are sometime hours!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

No. Once was enough, I go home now. It is a double whammy of joy as it means I also get to avoid the dreadful Japanese New Year celebrations. I cannot think of another culture that has COLD food for it's mid-winter feast.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Used to loathe it. Worst was when friends and family in Christmas-celebrating countries would try to call, inebriated and ask why I was at work. Just mandatory depression.

Now it is just gaman. Luckily Xmas sort of dies around the 23rd making way for the real thing locally, Shogatsu. I enjoyed painting original New Years cards for people. Yeah, its a bit dead outside, but unlike on 25th Dec in Japan one can rest.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No, absolutely not. Why? Very simple. There is NO Christmas in Japan. Everybody gets up and goes to work on the day and the only concession to the holiday at all is maybe KFC (?) and possibly a cake. Frankly speaking, Japan is just about the most depressing place on earth at Christmas and in 16 years I have only endured two Christmases here. Now, New Year is another thing entirely. I am always back in time for that....

7 ( +9 / -2 )

If you live in Tokyo, it is certainly lit up better than the majority of major American cities. And since the holiday is shorn of its bogun religious underpinnings, you get only the festive aspect.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@toasted heretic

",,,, ranting over refugees"

Unlike the evil West, Japan has solved that problem...by refusing to have any. If that make you happy...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Any Popular Western Culture are celebrated better or hugely in Developed Asian countries than in Western countries.

Example, London Christmas, it's so quiet and dark except in main shopping street Oxford Street and few around and some lights in some houses and there are £10 for two courses in almost every restaurant, those are very cheap quality. But most people enjoy quietly at home like normal days with same old gifts.

Then the same festival in HK, people esp. Couples are walking all over the streets smiling, holding hands, relaxing at Tsim Sha Tsui.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

If you live in Tokyo, it is certainly lit up better than the majority of major American cities. And since the holiday is shorn of its bogun religious underpinnings, you get only the festive aspect.

The public lighting up is way better in major cities here. But you have to balance that out against the fact that public displays in the US are supplemented by everyone decorating their own houses, which are sometimes the main attraction, while almost nobody here does so (my house being an exception, I went all out this year! Not sure what the neighbors think of it though!)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Belrick, sorry for your lose. Here's a bit of advice. I lost my sister on St. Patrick's day 13 years ago. So for 11 years I did nothing on St. Patrick's day while my friends would go out and party. I thought it would be wrong to go and party on the anniversary of her death. Then one day I spoke to a very wise man about my sister, and after hearing what I said she was like. He said maybe my sister would have wanted me to go out and have a beer or two and toast my sister's memory. So my advice celebrate your family they would want that. Merry Christmas.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I actually prefer Christmas in Japan to what I grew up with. In Japan, Christmas is a lot just what you make of it. For me, I like to be with my family, see my friends, and each some nice meals. I usually manage to do that here. And I can do it without the overwhelming pressure to have a perfect Christmas, that I grew up with.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No, absolutely not. Why? Very simple. There is NO Christmas in Japan. Everybody gets up and goes to work on the day and the only concession to the holiday at all is maybe KFC (?) and possibly a cake. Frankly speaking, Japan is just about the most depressing place on earth at Christmas and in 16 years I have only endured two Christmases here. Now, New Year is another thing entirely. I am always back in time for that....

Completely agree, except for the NYC deal, never experienced it but as a native born Californian, we would drive up to Big Bear, rent Cabin and celebrate Christmas there in the beautiful snow. Great memories.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you want to be miserable, go ahead

Yeah, really. Christmas is what you make it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I love it here. Being from Baltimore, it is a nightmare there. The already busy streets are solid traffic, and the already rude Baltimore motorists are even more so. People throwing fits in stores because the latest over priced plastic toy crap is sold out. Grocery stores packed with uptight, crabby gits with carts full of crap complaining the lines are slow.

Here, business as usual. Then in the evening my wife, kids, and I go to church, have a wonderful dinner at Miyazaki Chiku, and the 25th my brother in law and I hit the Miyazaki Phoenix golf resort for breakfast, drinks, golf, drinks, golf, lunch, drinks, golf, drinks, golf, drinks, dinner, drinks, and then go up to the suit to sleep and go back home the 26th.

This is the reason for the season a nice slow paced family celebration.

Merry Christmas to all from the Kyushu Bill family.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, I have strings of Xmas lights up around my windows and entertaining the streetlife and neighbors below with my festooning of the veranda. Quite cheerful. Nice to nice have the mandatory religious jazz everywhere. Besides, Christmas can be celebrated by all the Abrahamic religions. I am composing a Christmas letter to e-mail to my relatives and friends outside of Japan. Christmas music popping up everywhere...all available at home on the Internet. Looks like a happy winter celebration.

Peace on Earth, good will to all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, . .. when I was younger, I remember coming to Japan during the Winter Break and presenting my cousin with a roast beef to cook.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I lived for twelve years in Japan, and spent several Christmases there in-country. Yes, it is a regular work day for the Japanese and anyone else living there. No, it isn't a cultural or religious holiday in Japan. Yes, it is commercialized and used as a shopping day (where does this NOT Happen?), as well as a time for bakeries and patisseries to sell and produce Christmas Cakes, cookies, and pastries. Yes, it is seen as more of a holiday or time for children than adults. No, there isn't has heavy a significance on Christmas as there is in a large part of the rest of the world. So what...?

In my experience, Japan does Christmas VERY well! They celebrate Christmas, decorate to the extreme (and NOBODY does Christmas Lights better than Japan: NOBODY!), offer up deals and goods and food and fun that is comparable to the same that exists in the USA and elsewhere. Christmas isn't a day off from work in Japan, but that, truly, is celebrating the very essence of Christmas: it wasn't a day off for anyone in the world when the Birth of Jesus the Messiah took place.

For my part, and from the many Christmases in Japan that I experienced 1998-2010, I give Japan a 10/10 for their celebration of the Holiday. They do Christmas well over in Japan, and it is something good to be experienced there...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"...public displays in the US are supplemented by everyone decorating their own houses, which are sometimes the main attraction, while almost nobody here does so..."

Check out certain areas of Chiba City. There's a large neighborhood there that goes all-out (and it isn't an ex-pat neighborhood, either)...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Try being Japanese and celebrating New Year's in the US. Getting drunk and watching college football? That sounds pretty empty and soulless too doesn't it.

Because they already spent Christmas with the family, so New Year's is time to celebrate the new year and wash away the past year

Miss the personal fireworks though, lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For me, Christmas has been synonymous with work since a long time ago, even before moving to Japan.

And even before that, I cared less and less with age. I think I was 16 the last time I had a Christmas dinner.

I guess that happens when you're non-religious and can buy your own stuff.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To me, when in Japan, Christmas is just a date (I have read that 25 December was chosen by a Roman Emperor who had converted to Christianity, because it was his wife's birthday).

So in Japan I would combine Christmas with New Year, and have fun with everybody.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Christmas in my home country is really an orgy of consumerism with people stressing out all over the place about gifts, office parties, travel on snowy roads to see family etc. It's actually a lot of hassle and stress.

My first Xmas in Japan lead me to conclude I preferred the Japanese version.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It has little meaning here other than an excuse to go out and buy KFC....

Or Costco chicken, which is far better. Other than that, just like any other holiday (celebrated or not), it's what you make of it. Before my wife met me, she never celebrated Christmas much, other than the KFC bit. We celebrate usually the weekend or the morning of (usually if it's a holiday) with the presents and I make dinner for us. New Year's is the bigger celebration for us. We don't think of Christmas as too much in the consumer sense, since we spend on things that we usually need than want.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Christmas is what you make of it. Period. It's not a place, it's a concept. And actually you have the power to make your place after that concept. There's nothing here preventing you from enjoying it, save maybe that it's a work day, which should still be somewhat in your power to control (or if so bad that you cannot, and therefore so detrimental, perhaps you need to rethink things). Now, is it the same as in other countries? No. But then, it's not other countries, same as Japanese holidays are not the same, if recognized at all, overseas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Haven't spend a xmas dinner since 30 years... it's just marketing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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