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Tokyo, Japan

Discover Christmas in Japan

08 Dec 2023 Experiences, Couples, Family, Solo Traveller, Travel Stories
Inspiration from Bedsonline

Christmas may not be an official holiday in Japan, where only a very small portion of the population is Christian, but it has become widely celebrated with all-new traditions that offer a distinct Japanese twist. A spectacular destination at any time of year, Japan is a place where rich cultural history meets modernity, and its many busy cities are something a little special at Christmas. 

Christmas Eve

In Western cultures, Christmas Eve is synonymous with festive gatherings with friends and family. However, in Japan, Christmas Eve takes on a different vibe - it's often hailed as the 'Valentine's Day' of the year, celebrated with a touch of romance. Couples take enchanting journeys to romantic restaurants, strolling through dazzling Christmas lights and exchanging thoughtful gifts. On the flip side, if you find yourself without a date, the unwritten rule is to stay home and avoid the social faux pas of seen alone in public on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve, Japan

Kentucky For Christmas

One of Japan's quirkiest Christmas traditions involves sitting down to a festive dinner of none other than KFC. It's mind-boggling to imagine millions of people indulging in a Christmas feast of fried chicken, however the demand is so high that bookings are placed weeks in advance to secure the popular party buckets. How did this unusual tradition start? It all began with a Christmas marketing campaign bearing the slogan 'Kentucky For Christmas', and the rest – as they say - is history.

KFC, Japan


Japan’s bustling capital transforms as the streets come alive with illuminated displays. Tokyo Disneyland goes all-out with a magical makeover of dazzling decorations and a towering 50-foot Christmas tree. Make sure not to miss the Disney Parade featuring beloved characters, such as Mickey Mouse donning a Santa Claus hat. As the parade unfolds, Disney friends share their cherished Christmas tales and the scene transforms into a winter wonderland with cascading snow, giving you the full experience of a white Christmas.

Christmas lights, Tokyo


Osaka takes Christmas to the next level with its extravagant and creative light displays. Elevating the festive atmosphere is the Osaka Hikari Renaissance illumination event on Nakanoshima Island where historic buildings are lit up with creative displays. Over in the heart of the city, the iconic Midosuji Avenue lights up in a beautiful array of colourful illuminations that earnt a world record for 'the street with the most illuminations on street trees’.

Christmas in Osaka


Explore the lesser-known Fukuoka area, a hidden gem for travellers and home to the largest Christmas market in Japan. Experience a taste of European holiday charm as you sip on mulled wine or hot chocolate while wandering the Christmas stalls filled with unique gifts and holiday décor. Be captivated by the twinkling lights that envelop the surroundings and don't miss the enchanting sight of the dazzling Christmas tree accompanied by a welcoming assembly of 100 life-sized Santa figurines.

Fukuoka, Japan

Japan is the ideal destination if you’re keen to get away somewhere exciting for Christmas and create new memories. Contact your local Travellers Choice agent to book a Christmas to remember!

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