Christmas in Tokyo is a peculiar time. Filled with Christmas decorations and Christmas carols, you would think Tokyo was the most Christian town in the world. But no, the point of Christmas in this country is purely commercial. Which brings me to my next point, Christmas presents and holiday shopping. The big question is what to get for your friends and family? How about a Christmas cake? The idea that what you do on Christmas is sit around and eat cake decorated with colorful Santa Clauses could only be born in Japan. The next dilemma is what to do about a Christmas tree. How about nothing at all? Buying a real fern tree costs a small fortune, and disposing it is a headache. The small plastic trees are affordable but only substitute an excuse for a tree. So how about making one out of construction paper (which is what I plan to do)? Forget about Hanukkah, most people in this country think it’s a Mediterranean dish similar to Falafel. Finding a menorah will prove more impossible than turkey and Christmas trees.
Now that you have decided what you are going to buy for your friends and family, and do instead of a Christmas tree, you have to decide what you will do on Christmas Eve. Of course you can go to a trance rave, but if you have a second half, you might want to consider reserving a table at an expensive restaurant. Christmas in Japan is as far away from a family holiday as Valentine’s Day in America. In fact, Christmas is a Japanese version of Valentine’s Day. I never heard a Japanese person saying they were going to buy presents for their family, only for their boyfriend or girlfriend.
So, now that you know everything there is to know, it’s time to gear up and go shopping for yourself.