Christmas Dinner in Japan

Christmas Dinner in Japan

Christmas is a festive time of year that is celebrated across the globe. Each country has its own unique traditions and customs when it comes to this holiday season, and Japan is no exception. In Japan, Christmas is not a national holiday, but it is still widely celebrated, albeit in a slightly different way from Western countries. One of the highlights of Christmas in Japan is the special Christmas dinner.

Traditional Japanese Christmas Dinner

The concept of a Christmas dinner is relatively new in Japan, as Christmas was not widely celebrated until after World War II when Western influence started to become more prominent. As a result, Japanese Christmas dinners often incorporate both Japanese and Western cuisine.

One popular dish that is commonly served during Christmas in Japan is fried chicken, specifically from a famous fast-food chain. It may sound surprising, but it has become a beloved tradition for many Japanese families to enjoy a bucket of fried chicken on Christmas Eve. The popularity of this tradition is so immense that pre-ordering fried chicken for Christmas has become a necessity, with long queues forming outside restaurants.

In addition to fried chicken, you can also find other familiar Western elements on the table, such as roasted turkey, seafood, and various types of cakes. The cakes, typically sponge cakes adorned with festive decorations, are a must-have for dessert during a Japanese Christmas dinner.

Unique Japanese Twists

While there are some similarities to Western Christmas dinners, Japan also puts its own unique twists on the menu. For instance, sushi is often incorporated as a festive dish during this time of year. Sushi rolls, known as Christmas rolls, are made with colorful ingredients like red and green vegetables to resemble the colors of Christmas.

Another interesting tradition is to have a Christmas cake. The Christmas cake in Japan is not the fruit cake commonly found in Western countries. Instead, it is usually a light and fluffy sponge cake covered with whipped cream and adorned with strawberries on top. It has become a symbol of Christmas in Japan and is often enjoyed after the Christmas dinner.

A Modern Blend of Cultures

While the traditional Japanese Christmas dinner may have its roots in Western cuisine, it has evolved into a unique blend of both cultures. The Japanese embrace the spirit of Christmas while adding their own distinct flavors and customs to create a memorable dining experience.

So, if you ever find yourself in Japan during the holiday season, be sure to indulge in a delightful Christmas dinner that combines the best of Japanese and Western traditions.

Enjoy a Japanese-Inspired Christmas Dinner


Minoru Shiina