Voices
in
Japan

poll

Do you enjoy spending the Christmas-New Year period in Japan?

33 Comments
© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
Login to comment

In my humble opinion, Christmas in Japan is not as festive as it is in predominantly Christian countries but I will say that they really do love to commercialize the holiday. New Year is an entirely different thing, the Japanese really celebrate it spectacularly and you can really get a sense of how spiritual the event is for them. To answer the question, I love spending new year in Japan but not so much for Christmas

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Time with family!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I didn't enjoy it much for a long time (spent my first Christmas here in 1999 so have a lot of them under my belt) until I had kids of my own. Until then it was just that time of the year that made me feel a bit homesick and wishing I was with family. Having to work on Christmas Day unless it happened to fall on a weekend didn't help either.

Now that I've got my own family though, I don't really care where I spend it so long as I'm with them and can give them a good Christmas, which is possible here (I'm able to take a day off of work on the day now!) Right now I've got my house covered in Christmas lights outside and a big (artificial) tree covered in decorations inside, with stockings hung on the wall. I even had my childhood Christmas decorations shipped from home earlier this year (my parents have new ones) so it really feels like "home" now. And we've got a ton of presents in hiding until Christmas Eve when Santa will deliver them.

My only regret about spending it here is not being able to be with family back home, but otherwise this looks like it will be a good one!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Last two Christmases at home were bitter sweet. 2016, 26th my brother succumbed to the cancer he'd been bravely fighting for 3 years. Got to talk to him by phone Christmas day but he passed as I was boarding my flight.

Christmas 2017 was the last one at home with my mother. Sadly she passed away April 2018.

Last year was here in Japan and like this year, I was working.

But now I have a new family and a baby, so I'm looking forward to Christmas here this year.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Dang, 14 people / 42% said yes, 13 people / 39% said no, and 6 people / 18% have not yet experienced the holiday period in Japan.

I can understand why less than half said yes and almost as many said no. Santa Claus seems to miss a lot of people in Japan. Could have something to do with the fact that almost no one has a chimney and a fireplace, plus almost no one bothers to put out milk/hot chocolate and cookies for him or carrots for his reindeer.

I don't think they're ever going to get with the program...

1 ( +8 / -7 )

almost no one bothers to put out milk/hot chocolate and cookies for him or carrots for his reindeer.

Carrots for the reindeer yes, milk and cookies for Santa?? No wonder he don't come. He gets mince pies and either sherry or a single-malt when he visits chez Cleo.

When the kids were little we kept them out of school on Christmas Day (it was usually the last day of term anyway, they would only be in to get their report cards) and Mr Cleo took the day off, and we would have our own proper Christmas. Now they've flown the nest, and we play Santa to the grandkids. It's fun, but not the same when it's done at a distance. And the SiL, bless him, I love him but....his Christmas is Kentucky and a sponge cake.

Going out and about at Christmas here is dire. Wish people a Merry Christmas and they look at you funny.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Invalid CSRF

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Yes! Low stress. I can ignore such headlines:

www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/4-of-the-most-stressful-holiday-scenarios-and-how-to-make-it-through-them-1.5402974

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We love Christmas in Japan because we celebrate in our traditional way, Christmas Eve church service, etc. But I can barely endure New Years time in Japan! It’s very depressing to me at New Years in Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Last two Christmases at home were bitter sweet. 2016, 26th my brother succumbed to the cancer he'd been bravely fighting for 3 years. Got to talk to him by phone Christmas day but he passed as I was boarding my flight.

Sorry to hear about that. I lost my little sister to cancer a couple of months ago so this Christmas is a little bittersweet to me too, its my first as an "only child" since 1977.

But now I have a new family and a baby, so I'm looking forward to Christmas here this year.

Yes, this. I have two little ones and they not only get you through it, but make it all worthwhile!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Glad Xmas in Japan closes down about 23rd, though starting in shops in October, which is fine.

KFC or a one-night stand on the 24th I can miss though.

Glad to work on Xmas Day.

Glad to avoid and not think about the guilt, fights, debt, nostalgia, gluttony and hangovers rels in the home country willingly suffer together.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm happy that we are not forced as much to experience Christmas as when in my birth country Britain. I find the whole trip overwhelming and over hyped starting these days as early as October. A more simple fare in my mind but we do enjoy the Japanese style New Year and prepare some especial foods we only eat then.

We have no children and our immediate Japanese family have passed. We don't buy each other gifts but we do write each a card and some poems of love and appreciations. Battling with prostate cancer and having a robot op in February. Still in good spirits. Should be good after that. So you won't be getting rid of me just yet.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Memories of Christmas traditions of my childhood will be forever with me, but as other posters have noted as time goes on one has to establish new traditions.

I once asked the manager of a sports team visiting Japan from the Philippines how they spend Christmas in the Philippines, and he replied, "Christmas is only for rich people." This answer shocked the junior high school student standing nearby and when they returned to their English juku class the next day, they ask the teacher if the class could make some presents to send to the families in the Philippines. The students assembled some pencils, notebooks and created some cards, and every Christmas the photos of smiling children arrive by What's App. The group in Shikoku has done this for nearly 10 years now and one of the parents just arrived back last week after delivering 100sets of presents the children made.

Today, I'll be enjoying watching the happy smiles of the people as I pick up my Christmas cake on their way home from work, and be watching out for the red beacon heading south this evening on www.noradsanta.org.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

horrible time here... should ve booked a warm vacation if not the need to work

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Christmas in Japan. Or rather Christmas in Fukuoka.

Pro & Cons

No snow.

No real Christmas trees.

No oven to make Turkey.

Must work on Christmas.

No caroling.

Family is on the other side of the planet.

Can not find Egg Nog anywhere. (make your own)

Christmas dinner at Fukuoka Hilton as well Thanksgiving dinner has been cancelled the last three years.

The good stuff.

Nice dinner after work.

Family time opening gifts under my very plastic tree.

Tenjin has Christmas markets everywhere. Hakata too.

Huis Ten Bosch is not that far and that has a real Christmas feel.

Can hit Sasebo base for some Chritmas goodies and presents. Wrapping paper. Time allowing.

Church at midnight at Our Lady in Tenjin!

I guess its what you make of it. Christmas is viewed differently for everyone. I think we get to wrapped up in the comercialazation of it. The expectation of it. Just have a good time with your family.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Spent one Christmas/New Year in Japan. Miserable as hell.

Go somewhere warm. Winter is satanic.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

So you won't be getting rid of me just yet.

Lol, Amen to that. Hope the treatment goes well @Zichi, real thoughts & prayers for you and yours.

Spent one Christmas/New Year in Japan. Miserable as hell.

Yeah it isn't Christmas, but there's no reason why it should be. Christmas can only be truly enjoyed back home with the family & friends. Even Christmas on a beach isn't the same.

Personally I love the cold, sunny quiet days in Japan at this time of year. The six weeks of mid-winter is just starting and and there is so much to enjoy in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Personally I love the cold, sunny quiet days in Japan at this time of year. The six weeks of mid-winter is just starting and and there is so much to enjoy in Japan.

Well said.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Personally I love the cold, sunny quiet days in Japan at this time of year. The six weeks of mid-winter is just starting and and there is so much to enjoy in Japan.

I usually get out of bed go to work before the sun is up and get home in the dark ( 6:30 ).

Winter is influenza, dark mornings, dark nights, people sneezing and coughing all over me on the train, silly drivel about powder snow and nabe and my wife reminding me of her successful university friend who retired at 40 and has never seen a winter since.

One of my coworkers went full Pollyanna and told me that at least there are almost no mosquitoes.

Go somewhere warm. It’s just, well, better.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

zichi—Always appreciate your comments, and positivity. I have a similar Xmas. Enjoy

I'm happy that we are not forced as much to experience Christmas as when in my birth country Britain.

We have no children and our immediate Japanese family have passed. We don't buy each other gifts but we do write each a card and some poems of love and appreciations. Battling with prostate cancer and having a robot op in February. Still in good spirits. Should be good after that. So you won't be getting rid of me just yet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The hollow commercialisation of Xmas is boring, it's bad in countries with Christian histories but minus the religious aspect it's just fake as hell. Japanese people don't actually seem to care despite the efforts of many capitalist entities and maybe it'll just die out...

New Year is only good if you're spending it with Japanese people because it's dead outside! I went to Korea last time and it was definitely a good move. If you're not Japanese then there's no point being here

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Merry Christmas.

Enjoy your family and be generous.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I landed on Christmas day 2013, met the J girly and her son (now ex J girly lol) and had a great Christmas! Now, it's Christmas in London today - wehay! I've also done Christmas in Denmark (you dance around a tree singing songs on the evening of the 24th!) and Christmas in Ireland (few beers for that!) Japan Christmas will always stand out as it was my first time in Japan! Merry Chrimbo all!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

even korea is 1000times better for going out on xmas and ny

the only thing you get here is few leftovers in clubs trying to get last minute nampa and some foreign idiots in shibuya

if you do have japanese friends and family... go the family home route

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Perfect when you want Christmas spirit without the family spirit. Sometime in life, it is useful. And I love there is Christmas music or animation every years in public space.

Personnally, i loved.

°

NadAge

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sure, it depends on who you're with and what frame of mind finds you at.

But I get to spend it with friends & family and that's the best part.

(well, apart from the foreign right wingers scurrying back to their habitats... that's cool)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I only got to experience Winter holiday season in Japan about 2 times . . . when I was younger, but enjoyed it very much, seeing the holiday displays, etc. . . . hopefully, we will be granted permission such that my wife and child can also experience it . . . .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's all what you make it. If you know how to enjoy it and soak it in, being in Japan during the New Year holidays can be just as nice and enjoyable as spending Christmas back home.

Just go with the flow, folks!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a single man in Japan back in the day, I found a single lady to celebrate every Christmas I spent there.

So Christmas was just fine for me those years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Love spending Christmas day, New Year's Eve and New Year's day in Japan... Up in Hokkaido's awesome powder snow on my snowboard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I live in a snowy part of Japan so I get a White Christmas most years. We've got a woodstove too, so it's pretty cosy and Christmas Card-y. I quite like the low key feel of it too. Not months and months of hype and commercialization. On the downside, my family aren't around and I miss them.

I quite like Japanese New Year as well. I used to be a real night owl, clubbing a lot, but found that New Year would only bring out attention-seeking people and the night would be an anti-climax compared to an ordinary night with the regular clubbers there for the music. I personally don't believe Japanese are anything like as spiritual as the Nihonjinron books or BBC documentaries say (I mean, praying your son gets into college? that's what the ema plaques say), but I'd rather go to a shrine on New Year than some bar full of people I don't know and don't particularly like drinking too much just because it's New Year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stayed in Japan once for Christmas and New Years and found it deeply depressing especially when I got calls from my family who were all together having fun. That time the wife insisted on watching JP New Years tv programs which are an unspeakable torture to the soul, and the traditional food is not very appealing to me. Finally hanging out with my wife's drunk uncle New Year's day to hear non-stop bias was horrible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 the wife insisted on watching JP New Years tv programs which are an unspeakable torture to the soul,

Kiss are going to be guests on Kohaku this year. It'll be a nice if brief break from the torture.

hanging out with my wife's drunk uncle New Year's day

It's just one day outta the year, right? Tee hee!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd prefer to go home for the holidays because here in Japan I have to do all the shopping and preparations myself. And being a guy it doesn't all come naturally to me. I know there are Japanese women out there that get into the spirit, but my wife couldn't be bothered to lift a finger. And she is a full-time housewife. Her only action is to turn OFF my Christmas lights promptly on the 26th.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites