If I had to sit down and create a "what I need for it to feel like Christmas" checklist, I would probably resemble the following:
A church service or two
One thing that it would not include is Kentucky Friend Chicken. And yet, in Tokyo, it is a THING!
Instead of a time for family, Japan's Christmas celebrations have become a season for couples, more akin to Valentine's Day in the United States. The Japanese even have a word for someone who is single on Christmas (kuribocchi - one who spends Christmas time alone). Which, on one hand, is a bit depressing. But there is plenty of opportunity to meet someone during the Christmas season in Tokyo that does not involve greasy chicken.
A highlight of the Tokyo Christmas season is the many illuminated displays. One of the most famous is Nabana no Sato, a botanical garden and theme park in Kuwana City. The majority of the displays are free, and are easily accessible by Tokyo's comprehensive mass transit system.
Borrowing from the Germans, Christmas markets have become another popular activity in Tokyo. Although the Tokyo Christmas Market at Hibiya park is routinely heralded as the best, there are many dotted throughout the city that are worth checking out.
Although most famous for spring travel when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, Japan is a fabulous winter travel destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers alike. Skiing and snowboarding are popular throughout Tohoku, the Japan Alps, and Hokkaido. And no winter trip is complete without a journey to Jigokudani to Snow Monkey Park!
Ready to put Tokyo on your 2023 travel plans? Contact your travel designer today!