Winter in Japan: Xmas & New Year

Welcome to my second home town: Tottori! This is the place, where we spent Christmas & New Year back in 2017/2018. If you want to know more about the things that you can do in Tottori, please check out my past blog post here. So how is Christmas & New Year in Japan? To keep it brief – with KFC (on Xmas) and Osechi (during New Year) and with your better half. Yes, in Japan, you traditionally order food at KFC and most of the people spend their time together with their partner (instead of the family). I wrote down some more interesting facts about Japan, you can read them below. Well that’s the usual/traditional way. Neither did we eat chicken on Christmas nor we spend the days with our partners (lol). We spend time together at my granny’s and aunt’s home, where we had hot pot and Temaki Sushi. For dessert we had of course the traditional Strawberry Shortcake (and a Chocolate Cake). For New Year, we ordered a rich Osechi (assortment of cold dishes), which is similar to a bento box. As you can see, we ate a lot – as most of the people do during Xmas and New Year. It was nothing special (expect the food), nevertheless it was nice to spend time with my relatives from Japan since we don’t see each other a lot. If you know me, I am not the winter person. This is probably the reason that I am not very keen to visit Japan in winter again. Nevertheless, it was a great and valuable experience and I hope you enjoyed this festive post!

How do you celebrate Xmas and New Year in your country?

Some interesting facts about Xmas/New Year in Japan:

  • Did you know that Japanese people goes crazy about KFC during Christmas? It’s a Xmas tradition in Japan!
  • Christmas is the most romantic day of the year, in which couples spend together!
  • The traditional Japanese Xmas dessert is a Christmas Cake – usually it’s a strawberry shortcake!
  • Japan goes crazy for illuminations! At shopping malls, Disney Land, restaurants – you will find lights everywhere!
  • Merry Christmas in Japanese is ‘Meri Kurisumasu’!
  • Fukubukuro are sold at New Year, it is a lucky bag with unknown random contents and is about 50% the original price. I recommend you to have a look at your favourite shops!
  • A traditional New Year’s custom is ‘Hatsumode’ (first shrine visit of the New Year).
  • Japanese people eat ‘Osechi’ on New Year’s Day (special box similar to a Bento box)
  • On New Year’s Day, children get pocket money called ‘Otoshidama’
  • Rice cake ‘Mochi’ is a traditional dish during New Year
  • Happy New Year in Japanese is ‘Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu’!

Here we go
Reunion with Mum
Japanese Strawberry Shortcake!
Make sure you try itHow my granny heats up the room… I missed this so much! Shokupan (toast) it is soooo good!
I eat tons of this bread (alsmost every morning)Xmas mood at supermarkets My sister and me promised each other to exchange a
Xmas pullover :) I had one with a cat print on itNabe for dinner (hot pot) Another Christmas Cake We had Temaki Sushi the next day nom nom Xmas filter~ (it’s from SNOW App) And again… Christmas Cake!
This time it’s chocolate!So much snow! They had little sprinklers to keep the streets free of ice
I have never seen this before lolOden! You could buy dolls for Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) Nothing is better than a cozy warm Kotatsu! Time to show you our Osechi Toshikoshi Soba Gochisousamadeshita! (Thank you for the meal!)


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