3 Japanese Inspirations this Christmas

Christmas is an extremely important holiday in Britain. This is perhaps a reflection of our status as a predominantly Christian country, but also of our consumerism. As with most of the western world, Christmas in the UK typically consists of a traditional home-cooked feast with the family, celebrating the birth of Christ (if you’re religious), and exchanging presents.

But what about countries in the east, where Christianity is often a minority religion? How (and perhaps more importantly why) do the Japaense, whose population is made up of less than 3 percent of Christians, celebrate this merry Christian holiday?

If you’re a budding Japanophile looking to switch up your Christmas tradition a little this year, this article will give you some insight on how to incorporate a few Japanese Christmas traditions into your holiday.

1. Ideas for Your Anglo-Japanese Christmas Meal

The Japanese traditionally eat take-out for Christmas, but most of us in the UK would struggle to even think about replacing our traditional roasts with junk food. Instead, you might prefer to eat from Sapporo Teppanyaki’s Christmas Menu; experience the traditional strawberry sponge cake for your Christmas pudding, alongside our authentic Japanese food. Enjoy a truly special Japanese Christmas with our artfully prepared meals.

If you’re determined to stick to the British tradition of making your own Christmas dinner, you could also attend one of our sushi making classes. Add some sushi to your traditional spread to wow your family and guests with something new this Christmas.

2. Asian Inspired Tree

You can make your Christmas feel a little more Japanese by being more adventurous with your Christmas trees. As you can see with the sushi tree pictured above, the Japanese use of the Christmas tree theme can be very creative. There have even been reports of a Christmas tree inspired by the anime vocal synthesizer Hatsune Miku. You could cover your tree in beautiful paper fans as ornaments this year, or perhaps you could even find some Dragon Ball inspired baubles?

You could also decorate your tree or house with Japanese winter fruits such as yuzu and mikan, which are very popular in Japan during the Christmas season.

3. Japanese Christmas TV

Instead of watching the same Christmas re-runs year on year, perhaps you could try watching some Japanese Christmas television? If you did, you might notice that a large portion of Japan’s Christmas television is quite romantic. Christmas is considered a romantic holiday in Japan, so you will likely find many confessions of love in your Japanese Christmas TV.

There are plenty of movies and series to choose from, including some of the following:

Carolling – Christmas no Kiseki (2014)

This is a heart-warming series that follows three different narratives, each about different people struggling at work and home during the Christmas season. With a total of eight episodes, this series won’t take too long to watch, but it should give you something to look forward to each night in the run-up to Christmas.

Super Sentai Christmas Specials

You might know of Super Sentai as ‘Japanese Power Rangers’, but you should know that Super Sentai is quite different to the American Power Rangers. Though still very child-friendly, Super Sentai is more comfortable with showing darker themes than the American show. If your kids can’t get enough of Japan this Christmas, you could treat them to some special Christmas episodes from this beloved series.

Super Sentai has over 1900 episodes – an indication of its huge popularity in Japan – and is definitely worth watching if you consider yourself a film buff. However, if you’re already a fan of Super Sentai, we recommend watching the Gokaiger series. This is one of the show’s best seasons, and it also features a Christmas episode.

Your Anglo-Japanese Christmas won’t make itself, so follow the tips in this guide to make sure that you’ve got it covered. From decorating the tree and preparing your meal, to finally relaxing in front of some Christmas TV – make this one a Christmas to remember.