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A young woman in Tokyo


27 November 2018

In the four weeks running up to Christmas we will be looking at a different country each week. You’ll get to find out how Christmas is celebrated in that part of the world and hear from some TWR listeners living there.



Christmas lights and other typical decorations such as reindeer, Christmas trees and Santa Clauses deck the halls of local Japanese shopping centres and homes. Twinkling lights are strung in city centres, and are known as “luminario.” Christmas trees also are popular, especially in homes with small children.


People generally don’t prepare meals for Christmas, but buy them instead. While some have turkey or Japanese food, the more common and popular dishes include decorated Christmas cakes, Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s fast food.


Japan is a gift-giving society, so people are encouraged to spend money on gifts and exchange them with friends and family. Christmas is viewed as a romantic time of year, so Christmas weddings are reasonably common.


Christmas is not a national holiday, so churches tend to celebrate on the Sunday closest to Christmas with candlelit services and special outreach events like concerts.

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