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Merry Christmas from Waya

2020.12.25

Sapporo sightseeing

Happy holidays from all at Waya!

We know this year has been a difficult year for many and we are all looking forward to a new year.

This blog post is from Eve, and as an American, a very common question I get asked is what is Christmas like in Japan and why does everyone eat KFC? I'm here to do my best at answering these questions for you!

Christmas in Japan is a bit different than what those of us from Western countries are used to. There are some similarities, for example many stores and cafes will be playing Christmas music on repeat for the month of December, often the english versions of songs. Rest be assured, you can still get your Mariah Carey Christmas even in Japan.
On top of that, you can buy Christmas decorations from various stores and many parts of the city will put of Christmas lights (illuminations as the Japanese call it) on trees, buildings, or even build structures just to put the lights on. These can be found all over Japan and often they go to great extents to make the illuminations gorgeous.

One of the biggest differences about Christmas in Japan?

It is more of a couple's holiday.

On Christmas day it is more common to spend time with your significant other than with your friends or family. If you want to see the Christmas illuminations? Best grab a date to go together!

Other than that, the biggest difference for Christmas in Japan is definitely the love of KFC. You can make reservations for the chicken weeks in advance, you'll see huge lines of people waiting for the chicken, and other stores trying their best to sell their chicken.

But why?

After some digging, I finally figured it out. Some years ago, they heard that in America we often eat turkey for Christmas and since they view Christmas as a western holiday, they wanted to do something similar. However, they didn't have turkey . They did have an American restaurant selling chicken, which is close enough to turkey, yes? And so the tradition started.
Most Americans would be baffled by the love of KFC on Christmas, and yet the tradition started for them to be more similar to Americans. Funny how it works out.

Hopefully this tells you a bit about Christmas in Japan! It's truly a beautiful time of year, especially here in Sapporo with our illuminations in Odori Park and around Sapporo city, with snow covering the ground in white blankets.

Here at Waya, we decided to not have a big party this year to celebrate Christmas, unlike past years, in order to keep you all as safe as we can. Lets look back on last year's party with fond memories and hope for the ability to have an even great Christmas party with you all next year!

Please be safe wherever you are and happy holidays!

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