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Christmas In Japan: Facts And Traditions

Christmas In Japan: Facts And Traditions

Every Christmas, an estimated 3.6 million Japanese families get their holiday meal from none other than Kentucky Fried Chicken . Somehow this tradition is one of the most sacred and one that really embodies the Japanese Christmas spirit.

Since it is hard to get turkey in Japan, chicken is eaten on Christmas day. Christmas cake. Pizza. Pizza is just known as party meal and some people order pizza and eat it on Christmas day. Potato salad. Cream stew. What is the most popular Christmas meal? Revealed! The most popular foods consumed on Christmas Day Roast potatoes. Carrots.

Traditional Japanese Christmas Food and Drink. Christmas Cake. Most countries put a heavy focus on cakes, pies, cookies, and other sweets during the holidays. Japan is no exception. Japan’s … Wagashi. Chanmery. Kentucky Fried Chicken. Potato Salad.

Japanese Christmas traditions. Japan Christmas Cake. The Japanese Christmas cake or “kurisumasu keki” is sold on practically every street corner from Hokkaido to Kyushu! This … KFC: Japan’s biggest Christmas meal. Winter illuminations. Japanese.

A Guide To Japanese Christmas Foods

  • Christmas Cake. Possibly because of its festive white-and-red coloring, strawberry shortcakes have …
  • Hot Saké. Hot saké is traditionally a wintertime drink and it’s rather difficult to get this tradition …
  • Christmas Wagashi. Wagashi, a traditional Japanese sweet already known for changing with the …
  • Yuzu. Mid-November to mid-January is yuzu season, which means that winter is prime time for this …
  • KFC. Chicken, and KFC in particular, is so popular around Christmastime that many families pre …
  • Dinner for Two. Christmas Eve in Japan is the time to make one’s romantic feelings known. On this …


Japanese Christmas food. The traditional Christmas dinner in Japan is – as odd as it sounds – KFC. Families will order buckets of fried chicken to eat together and it’s the busiest time of year by far at KFC stores. They have extra staff and accept orders in.

Christmas was, and still is, a secular holiday in Japan — a country where less than 1% of the population identifies as Christian — and in the 1970s many people didn’t have established family.

Here’s the crazy reason KFC is the traditional Christmas dinner in Japan Japanese Christmas dinner is finger lickin’ good, but why does everyone go.

Christmas In The City: 10 Of Tokyo’s Best Restaurants

  1. Crista. This stylish American restaurant offers a special full dinner Christmas course, which includes .
  2. BLT Steak. This popular steakhouse in Tokyo is preparing a variety of special Christmas courses for .
  3. Tooth Tooth Tokyo. Enjoy the chef’s specialty course dishes that are carefully selected from .
  4. Two Rooms Grill & Bar. This stylish grill and bar situated near Omotesando station is once again .
  5. The Peninsula Tokyo. The Peninsula Tokyo is offering several festive plans including a too-cute-to .
  6. Conrad Tokyo. If you wish to celebrate the Christmas season in style, the Conrad Tokyo is famous .
  7. Park Hyatt Tokyo. This year, each of the hotel’s restaurants will serve a special Christmas dinner .
  8. Smoke House. If you’re looking for something light and casual — and less pricey — Smoke House in .
  9. Soulfood House. If you’re missing home this Christmas day, invite yourself to Soulfood House in .
  10. The Tavern – Grill & Lounge. Re-launched in April 2018, The Tavern – Grill & Lounge welcomes .


While millions do celebrate Christmas with KFC, others in Japan treat it as a romantic holiday similar to Valentine’s Day, and couples mark the occasion with dinner in upscale restaurants.

However, over time two types of dishes managed to become typical for the Japanese Christmas: the most popular Christmas dish is the Christmas cake, which was sold for the first time at the Fugiya store in 1910.

Those who have spent Christmas in Japan are likely familiar with the Christmas promotions as they’ve probably seen it during their visit or have actually had this dinner at a friend’s or host’s house. KFC is a popular option during Christmas parties as there’s plenty to feed a crowd and it’s liked by everyone.

Japanese Christmas Food Traditions Explained | All About Japan

Another weird tradition of Christmas in Japan is eating fried chicken, specifically the kind you can buy at KFC. The tradition is so widespread that the popular chain tends to see long queues outside its branches, and fried chicken appears in every supermarket in large quantities for those who don’t want to bother lining up.

Another popular activity at Christmas in Japan, especially in Tokyo, is visiting Tokyo Disneyland (which opened in 1983) and seeing all the decorations and the parades. The Christmas ‘season’ at Tokyo Disneyland is from the 2nd week in November until Christmas Day. On December 26th, all the Christmas decorations are gone, ready for the New Year.

The tradition of recalentado (lit. reheating) is also widespread, with families and friends convening again in the afternoon of Christmas Day to enjoy the leftovers from the dinner. This tradition is also followed on New Year’s Eve, with a subsequent recalentado on New Year’s Day.

This year McDonalds is offering a special holiday McNugget meal and the Japanese burger chain Mos Burger is deviating from its red meat specialty, pushing a Christmas fried chicken deal.

Why Japan Is Obsessed With Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas

Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan—only one percent of the Japanese population is estimated to be Christian—yet a bucket of “Christmas Chicken” (the next best thing to turkey.

Those spud varieties are the most popular Christmas dishes — beating even turkey — according to a YouGov poll that asked 1,140 Americans to choose the better of two Christmas foods in a series of head-to-head matchups. Following turkey and potato sides, Americans also placed stuffing and dinner rolls in their top five Christmas dish list.

The French Kitchen (Grand Hyatt, Roppongi Hills, Tokyo) – The French Kitchen will serve two Christmas course meal options from December 22-25, 2019. Christmas dinner course this year will include sumptuous dishes such as chicken and foie gras terrine, seared John Dory and roasted beef fillet.

Incredibly, KFC Japan creates a special Christmas Party Barrel and pre-orders are taken from October. The chicken shop is set to sell 1.5million.

What Are the Most Popular Foods in Japan?

There’s no question, Japan is a food lover’s paradise. Some of the best foods in the world can be found here from prime cuts of A-5 Wagyu to the perfect piece of fatty tuna.

Kutya is the most popular and important Christmas dish, and was a popular ritualistic food even before Christianity began. It’s a cooked wheat porridge mixed with poppy seeds, honey, and raisins.

Butternut and Chard Pasta Bake. This recipe is made for butternut squash lovers, with pureed squash in the sauce and squash pieces in the casserole alongside an ideal companion, Swiss chard. This is a very veggie hybrid of ever-popular holiday sides. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois.

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