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Christmas Dinner in Japan…KFC?!

What is the most popular Christmas meal in Japan? Ask the colonel. It’s no kidding, Kentucky Fried Chicken.


Come on!  No fuss, no mess, just down home traditional foods that you pick up and share.  What’s wrong with that?!  If you’ve lived in Japan, you’ll know that the ovens can be very small and roasting a turkey might be difficult, if you can even find one! No worries, the answer is right on the corner. It’s Christmas in Japan at KFC!

The most popular dinner for Christmas in Japan.

As it is, Christmas dinner in Japan isn’t a huge thing. With less than 1% of the population celebrating the holiday, since December 25th is not a bank holiday, everyone has to work. Still, the Japanese love adopting American traditions, and they’ve got to eat, so why not try to be as traditional as possible and order that KFC fried chicken for Christmas dinner?

The menus you can pick from to order Christmas dinner.

That’s right! KFC has convinced Japan that fried chicken is the traditional Christmas dinner in America, or at least they did in December of 1974. Their campaign was a massive success and they have been able to continue the “tradition” to this day. In fact, KFC officials say that it’s highest sales volume each year come from Christmas Eve.

I have asked around to see if any of my Japanese friends have partaken in the tradition. One allowed shyly that she and her mother have done so on occasion, but not every year. And, a teacher I work with admitted that her husband buys a bucket each year for their family. But not everyone is hooked, our neighbor when asked scoffed loudly and exclaimed, “Of course not! Why do you Americans all think we love KFC? I can get KFC anytime! I want other foods!”

Special mugs, buckets of chicken, and special cake.

Living in Japan, we like to try Japanese traditions, too, so we have decided to try to get a bucket of chicken for Christmas this year! The only problem…you have to order well in advance and my Japanese isn’t great, so “try” is the key word. And, why not?! When in Rome…ahem, Tokyo…

メリークリスマス or Meri-kurisumasu everybody from Japan!

Have you ever had KFC for Christmas dinner?

rhonda albom

Tuesday 23rd of December 2014

Honestly, I am not a fan of KFC, so I wouldn't have it any night. Here in NZ, we don't small ovens also, so we don't make turkey either.

Corinne Vail

Thursday 25th of December 2014

Rhonda, I wouldn't plan on it either, but I think Devon may have gone. We'll see. Happy New Year!

Mike

Tuesday 23rd of December 2014

Ha, no I haven't had KFC for Christmas but I've had pizza for Thanksgiving! That is fascinating that many Japanese are invested to have that for Christmas dinner. Hey, to each his own, right? On the West Coast here my heart has been swept away from KFC forever in favor of Popeye's! Now I'm craving fried chicken in the worst way, Corinne lol :) *sigh*

Corinne Vail

Thursday 25th of December 2014

I'm not a big fried chicken fan at all, but I love the story! Go get some!

Corinne Vail

Saturday 20th of December 2014

Yes I know what you mean Sarah, Have a great winter holiday and enjoy some more photography!

lyn barden

Friday 19th of December 2014

I'm oh so disappointed! I thought you were going to share a traditional Japanese Christmas with us? I then realized of course that Japanese probably do not celebrate Christmas at all, but follow their own religious customs. As for KFC Xmas dinner yuk! Merry Christmas Muzachan.

Corinne Vail

Saturday 20th of December 2014

Yes, Lyn, sorry to disappoint! Happy Holidays!

Nancie

Friday 19th of December 2014

Hi Corrine. Are you in Japan now? KFC is readily available in Korea, too. However, I don't think it's as popular as some of the other fast food giants. I'm never in Korea for Christmas, so I have no idea if this KFC is a Christmas tradition here or not. I did eat KFC for a Christmas Eve meal once when I was at an airport hotel in KL waiting to fly to Bali. Certainly more reminiscent of Christmas then noodles! :) Thanks for linking up to Travel Photo Thursday this week. #TPThursday

Corinne Vail

Saturday 20th of December 2014

No, Nancie, I'm not in Japan. My daughter Devon is. She lives near Yokohama. Where are you off to these holidays?