"CHRISTMASS Japanese style" Top 5 Page for this destination Japan Local Custom Tip by cheesecake17

Japan Local Customs: 477 reviews and 616 photos


For a long time, Japan had been and still mostly is a country of Buddhism.

They value the tradition of celebrating Gods in Buddhism. In old times, people were not aware at all of the concept of Christmas and its celebration of the birth of Christ.

This is a time before Christianity was introduced to Japan. However, Christmas has firmly established its place in this Buddhism country today.

Celebration of Christmas in Japan originates December 24th 1552, visiting missionaries held Christmas celebration at their parsonage, inviting Japanese people.

Together they sat up through the night, thanking God Deus. When it was Christmas Morning, the missionaries gave a mass and sermon to the visitors, followed by Christmas dinner.

In Japan, Christmas cake plays an important role in the celebration. This comes from the idea that it should not be celebrated without the luxurious western gimmicks for it is a western tradition.

Therefore, having Christmas cake on this day has become a standard custom in Japan.

Over the years, being the country of Buddhism this belief of the birth of Jesus Christ has somewhat faded, and they started celebrating it in their own ways.

Giving presents is a large part of the celebration still, but they are specifically for their own children or their lovers.

Japanese people would be so surprised when they see American people simply ripping the packages of their presents for it is almost customary for them to open the wrapping papers so delicately and fold them and sometimes store them for later use.

Also, Japanese people do not send cards for Christmas, but for New Years Day.

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  • Written May 17, 2005
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