All About Japan

A Primer on Christmas in Japan

| Video , Christmas

Upbeat Kiwi YouTuber Mimei offers her tips on Christmas in Japan, walking us through Christmas cakes, KFC and the slightly odd local use of not-quite-stockings—not to mention how it's a time for couples. We'd argue that Valentine's is also big for couples, but since it's weirdly split between women approaching men on February 28 and men reciprocating a month later on White Day, Christmas probably does win overall.

Mimei also walks us through New Year's in Japan, or o-shogatsu, including osechi ryori, late-night temple visits and otoshidama (envelopes full of money for kids), as well as secondary traditions like TV watching, year-end sales and fukubukuro: "lucky bags" with random leftover stuff from retail stores inside.

Finally, we get a walk-through of Christmas in New Zealand and some gratuitous but lovely shots of year-end illumination at Tobu Zoo in Saitama. If you want a quick primer on everything about the end of the year in Japan, this is a great place to go!