There seem to be two main things (in addition to Santa Claus and presents) that the Japanese associate with Christmas. These are KFC (yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken, the fast food chain) and Christmas lights.
Apparently due to a highly successful marketing campaign in the 1970s, a typical Christmas eve/ Christmas day meal in Japan is a chicken bucket from KFC. For a Westerner like me, who practically never goes to KFC, this Japanese tradition is just bizarre. To be honest, I am glad that we will (again) spend Christmas in England so that we do not need to adopt this unappetising peculiarity of Japan in the name of cultural assimilation.
However, similarly to the pro-Christmas-Roast-writer of this blog, the Japanese love their extravagant Christmas light displays/shows, often provided by the council or local businesses (free of charge!). There are currently, I believe, around 20 of these around Osaka and so far we’ve seen three of them.
So that you can also experience a little snippet of Osaka’s Christmas lights, I recorded a clip of a light show that they are currently showing in Nakanoshima park in Osaka city centre. We went there last night and I really enjoyed it with its multiple themes ranging from Japanese theatre to underwater scenes and amusement parks. I hope you’ll enjoy it too. I also hope that you won’t mind the clip ending somewhat unexpectedly. This can be explained by the fact that my visits to the gym to build my biceps and other upper body muscles have recently been minimal. When you combine that with five minutes of holding a mobile phone up video recording a light show with a huge handbag (if you are a mother of a diabetic child you know what I mean) hanging off one’s bicep… After about three minutes I felt like, instead of a handbag, there was a grand piano hanging of my arm.
In any case, I hope the clip below will get you into the Christmas spirit regardless of whether you watch it with a bucket of KFC or not.