Christmas has become a popular occasion among young Japanese, although they celebrate it more as a secular, commercial event (usually as a day for lovers to spend time together) rather than as a religious event.
Here’s a meal that was served to us dormers in Japan in December 2009. Notice the chicken on the left. Japanese people usually eat chicken on Christmas - there’s a very interesting history behind it. Apparently, back then, KFC came up with a marketing strategy that left Japanese people with the impression that Americans eat fried chicken on Christmas Day. Today, of course, Japanese people know better, but the tradition of eating chicken on Christmas has stuck. And, of course, KFC is where most Japanese go to for their chicken, which was why we saw really long lines at KFC on Christmas Eve. (It’s worth noting that, while KFC is the most popular choice, a Japanese fastfood chain called First Kitchen seems popular as well, because we noticed people buying from First Kitchen.)
I don’t have a picture of it, but strawberry shortcake (also known as Christmas cake in Japan) is another iconic Christmas food in Japan. Lovers usually eat it together. I was surprised to find out that strawberry shortcake can get really pricey on Christmas Day. I suppose it’s because of the demand and all the decorations (as Christmas cakes can be elaborately decorated). Much as I wanted to buy some Christmas cake, I decided not to because it was expensive, and because I had no one to eat it with (my family wouldn’t be able to finish the cake, and only my little sister and I like strawberries).