Japanese Christmas Tradition on Awaji Island

Japanese Christmas tradition is a unique experience with both traditional and modern elements. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of Japanese Christmas tradition while highlighting Awaji Island as the perfect place to spend the holiday season. In particular, we explore the Christmas market on the island opening next month.

Unique Japanese Christmas Tradition

In Japan, Christmas is a unique blend of cultural influences. While not a national holiday, the season is nonetheless celebrated with enthusiasm. Winter lights, sparkling decorations, and Christmas trees illuminate city streets in a captivating glow. Families and friends often gather for special dinners on Christmas Eve, with fried chicken and Christmas cake popular choices.

Every Christmas, approximately 3.6 million Japanese households uphold a unique tradition by turning to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) for their festive Christmas dinner. This peculiar yet cherished Japanese Christmas custom is deeply ingrained in Japanese Christmas spirit. Often, orders are placed for the special Christmas menu up to 6 weeks in advance due to overwhelming demand.

japanese christmas tradition

Christmas in Japan is also often considered a romantic occasion for couples. Strolling through beautifully lit streets, candle lit dinners and exchanging gifts are cherished activities. The roots of these traditions trace back to the post-war era when Japan embraced Western customs as part of its cultural evolution.

Individual preferences during the festive season vary. Some prefer the vibrant atmosphere of bustling streets and restaurants catering to family and couple dinners. On the other hand, others choose the coziness of home, relishing a tranquil Christmas dinner with loved ones. In recent years, Christmas markets reminiscent of those in Western countries have gained popularity in Japan. These markets feature festive stalls, seasonal treats, and a joyful atmosphere.

Celebrating Christmas on Awaji Island

Awaji Island is a picturesque location for the Christmas and winter seasons. The island’s scenic beauty, accented by stunning night views, provides an idyllic backdrop for a festive escape representing some elements of the Japanese Christmas tradition. Awaji Island caters to diverse preferences during the Christmas and winter seasons. For those seeking a serene escape, Grand Chariot offers a delightful glamping experience.

Meanwhile, if a festive dinner is on the agenda, the restaurants along the west coast of Awaji Island are offering delicious Christmas-limited menus. Adding to the festive charm, Awaji Island will host a Christmas market for a few days during the holiday season, providing a delightful experience for all.

Discover the Magic of Christmas Markets on Awaji Island

Awaji Island is getting ready to hold a Christmas market that promises to elevate the holiday experience. Feel the enchanting charm of the season with beautifully adorned stalls and illuminated streets that provide a taste of European culture and a festive Christmas atmosphere.

Go into the “GLOBAL MARKET”, an international stall showcasing traditional Japanese crafts and unique items from around the world. From Italy and France to Bali, Vietnam, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, and Thailand. Pasona Heartful adds a heartfelt touch with handmade Christmas sweets crafted by employees with disabilities. Explore their delightful Christmas packaging and enjoy additive-free treats, including unique Christmas trees, baked goods, and Christmas gift options.

In addition to the market, you will have the opportunity to join a concert from “Music Island.” Musicians from across Japan have come together on Awaji Island to play Christmas songs with various instruments. Try participating in a unique workshop creating an onion Santa, and bring home an assortment of onion souvenirs.

Location: Ladybird Road
Address: 95-2, Nojima Todoroki, Awaji Shi, Hyogo Ken, 656-1722


Enjoy the unique tapestry of Japanese Christmas tradition, blending both the traditional and the modern, encompassing elements like beautiful illuminations, exquisite cuisine, and a vibrant Christmas market. Awaji Island, with its winter charm, stands as an enchanting destination for those in search of a distinctive and delightful Christmas experience in Japan. Come indulge in all the island has to offer, and enjoy an unforgettable visit to Awaji this Christmas season.