Christmas Time in Japan

Being that most Japanese are Buddhist and Shinto, Christmas takes on a very different meaning in Japan. The streets are still decorated with Christmas lights and images of Santa Claus. Christmas music still plays incessantly everywhere you go. And, the shops and department stores still have great sales.

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Osechi – New Year’s Food in Japan

Special dishes known as osechi-ryouri (御節料理 or お節料理) are served on New Year’s in Japan. Large stackable boxes known as juubako (重箱) hold the food, and the dishes can stay good for several days since osechi are traditionally eaten through January 3rd. Cooking was finished by New Year’s Eve since long ago it was forbidden to cook during the first three days of the new year.

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Japanese Holidays: Taiiku no hi

This year, Taiiku no hi (体育の日) falls on Monday, October 12th. Known in English as “Health and Sports Day,” this day commemorates the anniversary of the opening of the Olympic games in Tokyo in 1964. The summer games were held late that year in an effort to avoid Japan’s rainy season, and began on October 10th.

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