Christmas

The Potato Salad Christmas Tree and other strange Christmas traditions in Japan

The Potato Salad Christmas Tree and other strange Christmas traditions in Japan

According to many people, Japan doesn’t celebrate Christmas the “right” way. We’re not sure what that means exactly, but even Japanese folks seem to agree that a Christmas in the Land of the Rising Sun isn’t quite what you might expect to find in most other countries. And there’s nothing wrong with that, of course! Who can complain about adding a new spin on some old fun, right?

But just how strange is a Japanese Christmas? Well, it’s no little green men from Mars, but we have four words for you: Potato Salad Christmas Tree.

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You better watch out, you better not cry, Santa Cat is coming to town【Photos】

You better watch out, you better not cry, Santa Cat is coming to town【Photos】

It’s Christmas Eve here in Japan, land of the cute, and what else would you expect from this country’s cat owners than cute pictures of their cats dressed up as Santa? Though judging by the looks on these felines’ faces, there will be something a whole lot worse that coal in the humans’ stockings tomorrow…

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Super easy rice cooker recipe: KFC rice!

Super easy rice cooker recipe: KFC rice!

Tis the season for fried chicken, at least it is according to Japanese Christmas traditions. And if you find yourself with leftovers from your delicious dinner from KFC tomorrow, we have an incredibly easy and tasty recipe to keep that holiday spirit going as long as you have leftover fried chicken in your fridge and your trusty rice cooker. We’ve tried some dubious rice cooker recipes in the past, but this one looks like one of our tastiest yet, so click below to see the recipe for KFC rice!

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We cook a Christmas cake in a rice cooker to ring in the holidays

We cook a Christmas cake in a rice cooker to ring in the holidays

When discussing Christmas in Japan it would be remiss not to mention the traditional cake that families and individuals buy during this time of the year. RocketNews24 also purchased a cute Santa cake to please our collective sweet teeth and warm our bellies in the cold winter.

However, it wouldn’t be a RocketNews24 Christmas with cooking that bad boy up in a rice cooker. Heck, if Big Macs or Oreos work, then rice-cooker-cooked Christmas cake should be a grand slam. Unsurprisingly (for us at least) the results were both festively pretty and delicious!

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Japanese Christmas sweets to make at home!

Japanese Christmas sweets to make at home!

With Santa filling his sack and preparing for the annual world tour, pâtisseries and chocolate stores around Japan are marking the occasion with all sorts of cute and delicious dedications to the jolly, red-suited fellow. Now you can join in the fun no matter where you are, with these adorable Christmas treats to make at home. You won’t believe how quick and simple these sweets are!

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Before video games and computers — Christmas presents for kids in Japan half a century ago

Before video games and computers — Christmas presents for kids in Japan half a century ago

There’s really no denying that the way people live has changed enormously in the past 50 years. It wasn’t that long ago that we lived in a world without the Internet, computers, smart phones or even the simplest video games for that matter. Well, can you imagine what kids back then may have received as Christmas presents? Thanks to a post on DDN JAPAN , a Japanese information site that shares mainly music and film related art and other fun, subculturish tidbits from around the world, we can get a glimpse of what Japanese kids 50 years ago looked forward to getting on that special day of the year.

So, come and join us as we take a trip 50 years back in time and look at some ads for Christmas toys made in 1960s Japan. You may be surprised at how genuinely fun some of the toys from half a century ago look!

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Have a very cute and sexy Christmas with these “Christmas Barbie” costumes!

Have a very cute and sexy Christmas with these “Christmas Barbie” costumes!

All right, we’ve already told you in past articles about how Christmas is a huge romantic event for couples in Japan. Well, how about making the event a little bit more fun (or naughty, depending on how you roll) with a cute Barbie-style Christmas costume from major Japanese discount chain store Don Quijote? That’s right, ladies: donning one of these could be a huge treat for the special man in your life … provided he’s been good this year, of course!

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Tokyo station turns commuters’ discarded umbrellas into sparkling Christmas trees

Tokyo station turns commuters’ discarded umbrellas into sparkling Christmas trees

Remember all of those umbrellas that were abandoned in train stations in October and November this year during the typhoon season? Well at least one station in Tokyo definitely does, but thankfully they’re putting a few of them to good use: by turning them into surprisingly pretty Christmas trees!

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Behold: the saddest Christmas tree in all of Japan

Behold: the saddest Christmas tree in all of Japan

Lonely this Christmas? Shiga Prefecture’s Pieri Moriyama shopping mall most certainly is.

Although technically still operating, the once thriving shopping centre is now home to just 14 stores after the local economy took a nosedive and businesses started pulling out in their droves. In the spirit of Christmas, however, the mall’s operators evidently decided to pop a tree up for visitors to enjoy. But as this Twitter user’s photo shows, when surrounded by naught but vast expanses of nice shiny floor, this tiny tree is possibly the loneliest Christmas ornament we’ve ever seen.

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We wish you an age-appropriate Christmas and a happy Pokémon tree!

We wish you an age-appropriate Christmas and a happy Pokémon tree!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a Pikachu in a Christmas tree. At the Pokémon Center in Tokyo!

This amazing tree was recently spotted on Japanese site Pokésoku, with the question: “I thought I’d buy my nephew a Pokemon for Christmas, but can a six-year-old child handle it?”

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The true meaning of Japanese Christmas

The true meaning of Japanese Christmas

It’s December again in Japan, and that means that Christmas trees are sprouting up outside store fronts while festive advertisements of cakes adorn the trains and convenience stores across the land. The usual mercilessly repetitive jingles that fill department stores and supermarkets are replaced with mercilessly repetitive carols for this one special month.

However, not everyone can share in the festive joy of a Japanese Christmas filled with hallowed traditions such as fried chicken and bowling. Christmas in Japan is also a day for lovers, and as of 2011 it was estimated that over 60% of young men and women would be single for the holidays and that number certainly hasn’t appeared to have changed recently.

All this lonesomeness and misery brought about annually begs the question: “Who the hell made Christmas a romantic holiday in Japan anyway?!” RocketNews24 Japan investigated.

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We search for Japan’s best convenience store fried chicken, just in time for Christmas

We search for Japan’s best convenience store fried chicken, just in time for Christmas

Like many people who grew up in the US, I used to think of food cooked at a convenience store as the absolute last resort for sustenance. Things are different in Japan though, where the hygienic, attentively-staffed convenience stores are more akin to compact local grocers. Aside from a variety of boxed lunches, you can even get tasty hot food, such as fried chicken.

Fried chicken, it just so happens, is the traditional choice in Japan for Christmas Eve dinner, so with the holiday fast approaching we decided to stage a little taste test to see which convenience store’s fried chicken is the best.

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Snoopy & Woodstock join the party at Mister Donut Japan this Christmas

Snoopy & Woodstock join the party at Mister Donut Japan this Christmas


The Japanese have a strange love for sinking their teeth into their favorite characters. We’ve seen Rilakkuma cakes and Hello Kitty doughnuts, next in line appears to be good-old Snoopy and his little yellow friend, Woodstock.

Mister Donut (or Misdo for short), the confectionary maker who brought us the jack-o’-lantern Hello Kitty doughnuts for Halloween, is already in the midst of preparing for the Christmas season, and boy does it look tasty!

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Bandai gets a head start on Christmas cakes

Bandai gets a head start on Christmas cakes

After years of living in Japan, I’ve noticed that the island nation has quite a few merry misconceptions about what it means to have a Western Christmas celebrationReplacing Santa’s cookies with a strawberry-topped Christmas cake is just one of their many mix-ups, though at least they have the gift-giving part right.

Now, you might be wondering why it is that we’re posting about Christmas when it’s barely even October! As it turns out, Japanese parents hoping to surprise their kids with a sweet treat from Bandai have to start planning for the holidays NOW. The Premium Bandai online store has just opened up reservations for their 2013 line of character-themed Christmas cakes called Chara Deco Christmas. These cakes come with toys and other neat treats suited to young fans of everything from Kamen Rider to Pokemon.

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We visit the World Santa Congress in Kumamoto Prefecture and still feel exactly like jaded adults

We visit the World Santa Congress in Kumamoto Prefecture and still feel exactly like jaded adults

Located in a remote section of a remote prefecture of Japan, Kumamoto’s Amakusa City faces the same problem a lot of rural towns do: its population is dwindling as children born there generally have to leave to pursue an education or career, and few move back.

As part of an effort to boost the remaining residents’ spirits, as well as hopefully garner a little tourism publicity, Amakusa recently held a World Santa Congress.

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Santa Biker Gang Spotted in Tokyo

Santa Biker Gang Spotted in Tokyo

Our reporter was walking through downtown Tokyo on Christmas Eve (alone, of course) when suddenly from behind a large posse of Santas on motorcycles came riding up from behind, filling the streets with the sound of roaring engines and holiday cheer.

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Japanese Men Share Their Worst Christmas Experiences Ever: Pikachu, Platoon and Painkillers

Japanese Men Share Their Worst Christmas Experiences Ever: Pikachu, Platoon and Painkillers

So this is Christmas. The time where we all sip eggnog by the open fire enjoying the gentle blanket of wet snow covering a meadow as a deer scampers by, right?

Of course not, it’s raining here now and my glasses are broken. Still, I’d consider this an average holiday season for myself. For many out there, Santa has little more than a big bag of suck to stuff in your stocking.

Don’t sweat it though. Every year can’t be a winner. For those having a blue Christmas, the website MyNavi has compiled a list of Japanese men’s worst Chirstmas experiences.

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Beautiful Japanese Christmas Confectioneries if You’re Tired of Regular Christmas Cake

Beautiful Japanese Christmas Confectioneries if You’re Tired of Regular Christmas Cake

With Christmas now just a few short days away, I’m sure many of us are still frantically trying to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done. There’s also Christmas dinner to think about, right? And of course, the Christmas cake, which the children (and yes, adults too) are all looking forward to. But wait, who said you have to have cake for Christmas? Japanese wagashi creators, Japan’s version of patissiers,  offer a choice of delectable looking Christmas treats that should be just as sweet as cake.  Read More

Peep Into the Enchanted Worlds of Snow White and a Christmas Wonderland With These Books That Open to 360 Degrees of Charm!

Peep Into the Enchanted Worlds of Snow White and a Christmas Wonderland With These Books That Open to 360 Degrees of Charm!

Peek through the pages of either of these two wonderful “360° Books” from any angle and you get treated to an intricate view of a fantasy world like you’ve never seen.  All you have to do is keep opening the pages until you’ve created a circle and the scene inside has taken shape. Read More

Japanese Yahoo! Answers User Asks “Why isn’t Santa Coming?”, Elf Responds with Sad News

Japanese Yahoo! Answers User Asks “Why isn’t Santa Coming?”, Elf Responds with Sad News

With just seven days to go, children the world over are without a doubt already finding it hard to sleep at night. Will Santa (or Father Christmas as I grew up calling him) arrive? Have I been good enough this year? Does he know about the things I did with Jane Steepleton in her tree house during the summer?

Let’s hope that we’ve all been good boys and girls and that the big man in red will pay us all a visit, unlike one unfortunate individual who found himself giftless on Christmas day one year and took to Japan’s Chiebukuro Yahoo! Answers forums to ask the nation simply: “Where is Santa!?”

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