Christmas in Japan

So it’s coming up on Christmas time. As of yesterday I’m officially on my Christmas break, and I am in desperate need of it!!

I haven’t been up to much since my birthday except for a weekend (last weekend) in Kyoto with some close friends who are leaving Japan for good. Tomorrow I’m off to Tokyo to see them off (with a drink at the Park Hyatt lost in translation-style) and I also want to do various things around, like looking at the Christmas lights and renewing my passport.

Christmas in Japan is not very exciting. As they are completely unaware of what it actually involves, Christmas eve has turned into a very popular date night! Christmas day they relax – though if it weren’t on a Saturday this year they would be in the office, and the minute it hits the 26th, all the Christmas lights are changed into Oshogatsu (New Years) decorations… so I hear! The Japanese do very beautiful Christmas lights I must say – last year there was this screen of lights on the Nagoya station building that changed scenes and showed the various seasons throughout the year. Sadly enough this is not there this year. And sadly enough no amount of lights will make up for the Christmas spirit and atmosphere which somehow seems to appear back home. I hear that Osaka now even has a German Christmas market – which would be very interesting to go to! I wonder how much that’ll add to the atmosphere.

More and more kids are getting a present for Christmas – I heard one of my kids ask another kid the other day if his present had been decided – on top of which they still get tons and tons of money on New Years day from various relatives and friends. However, they don’t understand the concept of Christmas presents really – because their new years money only comes from older people. i.e. If you were older than your younger cousin, you’re expected to give them money, but if they were older you could just sit there and cash in. Which would be good from my standpoint of being the youngest of the family.

So I will be here, seeing as many friends and keeping busy as much as possible to try and keep some sort of Christmas atmosphere in my heart. It’s just not the same!!

p.s. pictures of the lights etc will be up once i take them in a few days’ time.

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