Christmas Day in Japan

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Yesterday was the third Christmas Day we have spent in Japan and it still felt strange.  It’s not really possible to have a Western style Christmas here.  Not only because of the food – which is hard to get – but also because Christmas is about family and our friends and families are not here.

We had a great dinner in Roti.  They make the moistest turkey I have ever tasted. I wasn’t overly fond of the dessert choices, as they didn’t have anything I considered traditional, but they were still good and the rest of the meal more than made up for that.

We know that we need to make new Christmas traditions here. The first year we were in Japan we went to the cinema in the afternoon so we decided to do that again yesterday. We saw “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and it wasn’t a bad choice for a Christmas movie. Not too serious and not as bad as many of the reviews have made out. We also went to see the lights at Roppongi Hills which are really beautiful. Most of the Christmas decorations are taken down here on the 26th, in order for the New Year ones to be put up, so Christmas Day was the last day to see them.

Christmas Parcel Tree

Christmas Parcel Tree

We came back home after dinner and opened our presents. We have done this on Christmas night since we first got married. I really don’t like to be rushed when opening presents and love the opportunity to take my time looking at every gift.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25th, 2008
Christmas at Roppongi Hills

Christmas at Roppongi Hills

Christmas Comments

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

My friend Norwin left the following as a comment to one of my earlier entries.  As not everyone reads the comments I thought I would post it on my main blog.

T’was the day before Christmas,
And out in Japan
Karen was having odd food with her man.

While they waited for bedtime
And stifled their yawns
They feasted on chicken
With white sauce and prawns.

Because of the timezone, and physics, and fuss
They will see Santa long before us,
But from faraway Belfast, in dubious rhyme
Happy Christmas to the Pauley’s!
Have a jolly nice time!

Christmas Strawberries

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

I’m supposed to limit my intake of goitrogenic foods – one of these being strawberries.  But it’s Christmas Eve and I wanted to eat strawberries and drink a glass of champagne.  Since I won’t be eating strawberries that often, Marty bought me the very expensive ones they sell in Japan for Christmas. They are the most amazing strawberries I have ever tasted.  They are huge and full of flavour and nothing like the small watery things they call strawberries in Northern Ireland.

Japanese Gift Strawberries

Japanese Gift Strawberries

Christmas Outfit

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

As a child I was always bought a new outfit to wear on Christmas Day.  It made the day seem more special.  This year I have nothing new to wear.  It’s not easy for me to buy clothes in Japan and though I can think of a few shops I could travel to being ill has mostly kept me inside the apartment.

Last night I was looking at the Christmas section on I noticed that they were selling Christmas costumes and I was curious to see what their Santa outfits would look like.  I came across a Daisy Santa outfit – which is not something I plan to wear this Christmas.  I’m not quite sure who Daisy is but a black Christmas outfit just doesn’t seem right.

Amazon Daisy Santa Outfit

Amazon Daisy Santa Outfit

Japanese Christmas Food

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

I really like traditional Christmas food.  This year we are going out to Roti in Roppongi for Christmas dinner.

The Japanese have started to produce their own Christmas food.  I have been amused by the adverts from Moss Burger wishing people a “Happy X-Moss” and advertising some sort of chicken they plan to sell for Christmas.  Kentucky Fried Chicken produces their version of a Christmas dinner, described as a premium roast chicken, which is sold in a “roast chicken barrel“.  These are very popular and need to be ordered in advance.

The Japanese also have their own Christmas cake.  It’s expensive and made with strawberries and cream.  I’m not that fond of it but I eat it anyway.

Japanese Christmas Cake

Japanese Christmas Cake

Dinner Party

Friday, December 12th, 2008

We had our first guest to the new apartment tonight.  Everything went really well until we got to the dessert.  I had forgotten to put the Christmas puddings on to steam.  As this would take at least 30 minutes Marty suggested running upstairs to the Sky Lounge and heating them in the microwave.  He poked holes into the lids with a fork and went upstairs.  But he arrived back really quickly as the Lounge was closed.

Now we have three little Christmas puddings that can’t be steamed because of holes in their lids.

Christmas Play-list

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

At the minute the only Christmas music I get to hear is the really annoying, speeded up, cheesy sounding type that they play in supermarkets to torment shoppers.  I was practically galloping around the store today to “I’ll be Home for Christmas”.

To rectify this problem I created a Christmas play-list.  Since I really like carols and choirs my play-list was starting to sound a bit serious and was lacking any of the fun music associated with Christmas.  I decided to find myself a copy of “Christmas Time” by “The Darkness”.  What I ended up with was some awful thing called “Christmas Time” by “Darkness” from an album called “Christmas Hits”.  I really don’t know how this happened.  Looking at the iTunes store now this song is listed as being by “Backstreet Boys”.  Most definitely a waste of 79p even if the pound is tanking.

Christmas Cards

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I have spent hours writing Christmas cards. It was suggested to me that we send e-cards instead but I think they are a poor replacement for paper cards. The surprising benefit of writing cards is that I can now write our address in Japanese. It’s scary though to think that I’ve been here for two years and only now can I do this.