The whole Covid_19 business has meant that I am very grateful that we went back to the UK for the festive season twelve months ago. Admittedly I thought it would be better to go back this December but thankfully my wife persuaded me to go last year instead. Now that was lucky!
Due to the effects of coronavirus this year I, like many other people, were keen to get Christmas underway early this year. Halloween was pretty much cancelled but there were still a few signs of it existing. These days it blends seamlessly into the Christmas season anyway, and nowhere was that more apparent than outside this 7 Eleven store (below) where, in the early days of November, the Jack O’Lantern inflatable pumpkin character was decorated with a Santa hat and jacket with a tree placed next to it!
The Halloween part eventually made way for an all Christmas affair with a couple of the big convenience stores having snowmen outside.
I can’t make too much fun about Christmas being marketed here early as I bought a couple of boxes of Mince Pies on November 1st!
Watching Christmas movies wasn’t something I really ever did until I began to stay in Japan at this time of year from 2015 onwards. If you thought I watched a lot of Christmas films in 2019 (26!) then that’s nothing compared to this year which began on Sunday November 8th with ‘One Royal Holiday‘ (2020) as part of Hallmark Channel’s ‘Countdown to Christmas’ season.
These films are all 83 minutes long and very formulaic but it’s feel-good, heart warming content and I watched a load of them. Since changing my smartphone plan in August I have had unlimited data on my phone which is the main reason this year’s total tallied up to a whopping 46. (*) The full list is at the foot of this post for anyone interested!
‘Last Christmas‘ (2019) was the final festive film which we watched on Christmas Day evening having never got round to seeing it 12 months ago. Whilst watching it I had my first alcohol for over 200 days! Before all that we had a whopping two presents to open (one each) and even ended up in McDonalds in the afternoon which is admittedly a bit sad for such a day but it was just a regular Friday here. After that was a family Zoom call which is the first time we’ve done such a thing and it really was very enjoyable.
The festive season in Tokyo is all about illuminations which, despite me initially not really caring about them too much, have become a staple of these annual Christmas in Tokyo posts! The two below are very much of the modern variety!
Those two “trees” were just a bonus really as I happened to be passing by. The only illumination I went slightly out of my way to see was the smile-themed Christmas tree at Tokyo Dome City (below) which also featured a tunnel of glowing lights.
As has become customary this post will basically feature anything that I’ve seen or done in the last two months! Tokyo Fox is going back to the roots of a true blog with random references to all manner of strange and interesting snacks that have been consumed post-Halloween. This home-made effort (below) was really tasty.
I have absolutely no idea about Pokemon but these Pikachu creations from Mister Donut (below) definitely deserve to be filed under quirky Japanese food!
Likewise for this blue Sonic the Hedgehog curry (below) which has the power to change the colour of your poo!
Adding crisps to any meal has always been a sign of desperation in my book (a crisp sandwich anyone??) so I wasn’t too tempted to try these Pringles noodles. The price tag certainly didn’t help sway me in any way!
In terms of drinks, this Chill Out one (below) caught my eye due to it’s name. What’s just as interesting is that US military personnel in Japan are supposedly banned from drinking this hemp seed extract drink because it could lead to a false positive drug tests!
I’m not usually one to buy hot drinks but there were a couple of sweet ones that I wanted to try.
Not festive-related at all but as it’s amusing I’ll include it. Wanko is the Japanese word for puppy and this pole outside our local Family Mart convenience store has a pole for people to tie their dogs to whilst they shop inside. However, that O with the paw prints inside really does make it look like a different word!
A couple of places I’ve come across in recent months include these two Santa ones. Samurai Santa is actually a hair salon which I saw in Yukarigaoka back in August, and Captain Santa in Odaiba seems to be some retro-style candy and clothing store.
Despite all the aforementioned film viewing, Christmas is more about music for me but I refrained from listening to any songs until two weeks before the big day. I found this old cassette when back home last year but there’s absolutely nothing festive about it!
Rewinding back to the last week of work at school, and the very catchy and cheesy ‘Wrap Myself In Paper‘ was used a fair bit as were ‘Wonderful Christmastime‘ and ‘Last Christmas‘.
I’m always keen to introduce a new song to my students and this year it was ‘Underneath The Tree‘ by Kelly Clarkson which is one of the most modern Christmas classics.
The kids lessons were good fun as always and they really do help me to feel a bit more Christmasy.
This 1980 Star Wars Christmas album surprisingly got played in reception at one of my schools a fair bit during the build up, and my wife even got treated to a few of my favourites on Christmas Eve Eve!
That was Christmas 2020 in Tokyo then and I like to think we just about managed to make the best of a bad situation. Merry Christmas everyone!
Click here to read ‘Christmas 2019 In Tokyo’
Click here to read ‘Christmas 2018 In Tokyo’
Click here to read ‘Christmas 2017 In Tokyo’
Click here to read ‘Christmas 2016 In Tokyo’
Click here to read ‘Christmas 2015 In Tokyo’
(*) ‘One Royal Holiday‘ (2020), ‘Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Sweater‘ (2020), ‘On The 12th Date Of Christmas‘ (2020), ‘Fatman‘ (2020), ‘Chateau Christmas‘ (2020), ‘Happiest Season‘ (2020), ‘A Very Charming Town‘ (2020), ‘Jingle Bell Bride‘ (2020), ‘Christmas On Wheels‘ (2020), ‘Christmas With The Darlings‘ (2020), ‘Good Morning Christmas!‘ (2020), ‘Christmas In Vienna‘ (2020), ‘The Christmas House‘ (2020), ‘My Dad’s Christmas Date‘ (2020), ‘A Christmas Tree Grows In Colorado‘ (2020), ‘Christmas By Starlight‘ (2020), ‘Heart Of The Holidays‘ (2020), ‘A Timeless Christmas‘ (2020), ‘A Nashville Christmas Carol‘ (2020), ‘Five Star Christmas‘ (2020), ‘Operation Christmas Drop‘ (2020’), ‘The Christmas Waltz‘ (2020), ‘Jingle Jangle A Christmas Journey‘ (2020), ‘If I Only Had Christmas‘ (2020), ‘A Christmas Prince‘ (2017), ‘A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding‘ (2018), ‘A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby‘ (2019), ‘Four Christmases‘ (2008), ‘Write Before Christmas‘ (2020), ‘Merry & Bright‘ (2020), ‘Let It Snow‘ (2019), ‘The Christmas Setup‘ (2020), ‘Jingle All The Way‘ (1996), ‘Christmas In Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing‘ (2020), ‘Love, Lights, Hanukkah‘ (2020), ‘Christmas She Wrote‘ (2020), ‘A Christmas Carousel‘ (2020), ‘Help For The Holidays‘ (2012), ‘Cross Country Christmas‘ (2020), ‘Christmas Comes Twice‘ (2020), ‘The Christmas Chronicles‘ (2018), ‘Christmas 9 To 5‘ (2019), ‘The Christmas Chronicles 2‘ (2020), ‘Home Alone‘ (1990), ‘A Bad Mom’s Christmas‘ (2017), ‘Last Christmas‘ (2019).