Xmas Eve in Japan

  • December 27, 2006
  • Japan

As one could probably imagine, Christmas in Japan is not an event which is followed by in the traditional western Xmas sense. Here in Japan, Xmas is viewed more like a reason to date a girl than to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. (or as Kevin Smith would put it, Buddy Christ) Here are some of the common things that people in Japan think and do during Christmas.

– eat Christmas cake, which is in fact a strawberry & vanilla sponge cake. Why strawberry? I don’t know, but the shops are full of them just before Xmas. Ask them about Xmas pudding, and they have no idea what you’re talking about. Bring some over to Japan, and offer it to them… then see them squirm around in their seat while they struggle to get a single mouthful down their throat. Something about being too spicy, not liking cinnamon and currants.

– What? JC was born on Xmas day? I thought that Xmas was a time when kids got presents from Santa and their parents? What do you mean about kids actually give presents to their parents and to other siblings? That’s weird.

– Huh? spend time with the family? Isn’t Christmas about going out on dates with your girl/boy friend and spending the night at a classy hotel or love hotel?

– Oh? They’re actually edible? I though candy canes were just tree decorations. Oh that’s interesting since it has the word “candy” in it. (and yes, in Japan they say キャンディー Kandi as well)

On the 21st of December (Thurs), as always I held evening “Language Salon” gathering. But this time around, we had a nice potluck to celebrate the holidays. Last year, I did a wee cooking class, but this time around I couldn’t be bothered with it all. We had a good number of people turn out, all of the local and neighbouring ALTs (whom were still around) and regular LS members. A good 30+ people turned out to share some Xmas diner delight, and as a closure, similar to last year, I pulled out my violin (minus ex-ALT Nathan) and we sang some Xmas tunes with me accompanying. To be honest, since there was no snow this year in Sanjo, compared to last years hell of dump, I’m not really in the Xmas spirit.

In anycase, I worked Xmas day. It was just like any other work day. But, thanks to a number of foreigners in my area whom failed to get out of here, on Xmas Eve we enjoyed an early diner at a local smoky 焼き肉 (yakiniku) parlour. Yakiniku is a cuisine where you simply order crap loads of meat and BBQ’em on a communal hotplate and stuff yourself silly. Vegetables can be order too if you like. If you like your BBQ’d meat, I really recommend heading over to Korea for the real thing. After a smoking ourselves in various parts of cattle meat and juices, we cleared our eyes from further tears by hitting the local karaoke joint. Nothing quite special for a Xmas Eve, but since Xmas day being a Monday was a normal work day. Hence the whole night ended before 10pm. Eventhough it was an early night, we still had our fun.

Karaoke fun after a belly full of dead fleshmore pics of the Language Salon Xmas potluck (making sausage-yaki)
waiting for more tucka!