The build-up to Christmas this year was fairly unique as the FIFA World Cup was right in the midst of it, and so that certainly interfered with festive activities, particularly the new Christmas movies (mostly from Hallmark) which I like to watch each year. Last year I watched a whopping 69 festive films during the countdown to Christmas season but this year was a far more modest number. The full list (*) is at the foot of this post for those who are interested! Why wouldn’t you be?!!
One of the symbols of Christmas is of course the tree and there are many elaborately decorated ones in and around Tokyo. Last year we went to see some Harry Potter-related trees in Marunouchi, and this time we saw a couple more magical trees about a film franchise we both know very little about!
No sooner had Halloween finished and I had already unboxed our old tree but it took a few days more to get round to actually decorating it!
The lights never were added later as said in the above tweet but I did eventually add some fake presents, and they were eventually joined by a few proper ones not that my wife knew half of them weren’t real when it came to the big day! Empty boxes of Ritz or Pretz were not what she wanted!! As with last year, the dog got more presents than me and I guess he could smell one or two of them as he began to lie next to them as the 25th drew ever closer!
Unlike most Japanese females, my wife really has no interest in illuminations and trees so we didn’t exactly spend too long taking in the Winter seasonal spectacle around Tokyo station. It was sandwiched between two meals. More on them later.
December wasn’t the best of times for me as I suffered with throat problems which is not good when you’re a teacher and need your voice. Of course there are ways round it like using more gestures to elict stuff which is actually the right way of teaching according to the experts who believe the less a teacher talks the better. Well I certainly was able to put that into practice more than usual as I worked 18 of the first 21 days of the month! I may have been wearing Christmas socks and festive jumpers but I was not always feeling too good!
With a name like Tokyo Fox, it would be remiss of me to not include these fox-related decorations.
Christmas is all about food and drink and here is what I’ve consumed during the build-up whether it’s festive related or just slightly quirky stuff available in Japan. I always get a box of mince pies (at great cost!) as I want to have at least one traditional thing in the land where Kentucky fried chicken and strawberry short cake are usually consumed.
The holiday season began with good intentions as we went for vegan ramen but then succumbed to the Golden Arches a few hours later!
Having heard rave reviews about this 7-11 frozen pizza (yes, seriously!) I thought I’d try one. What better time to sample it than on Christmas Eve!
In November I discovered there was an award-winning curry bread on sale at a bakery in Itabashi so ended up going there a couple of times with the latter visit also providing some more festive-related food.
Between late September and the holiday season I was on a fairly strict diet (I lost about six kilos!) and these black truffle Premium flavour Pringles were a rather disappointing return to eating such snacks!
12 months ago I came up with a festive-coloured jägerbomb of sorts, and this year I concocted a traffic lights version. I was quite surprised that I slept so well on Christmas Eve night after all that caffeine! Maybe having it for breakfast meant it had all worn off by the time my head hit the pillow that night.
The ramen soup-in-a-can was back in some vending machines as the Winter drew in and I couldn’t resist it on a couple of occasions.
This butter and milk drink combo was highly impressive but, as is often the case in Japan (where so many items are limited), it disappeared quickly and I was never able to have another bottle!
The FIFA World Cup dominated my sports watching in November and December but there were a couple of other notable football occasions including on December 25th itself! Seeing that there were some WE League games on the big day was an opportunity I wanted to seize as it may be another 5-6 years before it could possibly happen again.
During the World Cup, Europa Conference League winners A.S. Roma visited Japan on a mid-season tour and won the EuroJapan Cup (not sure if there actually was a trophy!) after their two draws against Nagoya and Yokohama! During that time there was a pop-up shop in Shibuya selling merchandise which I paid a quick visit to out of curiosity.
That was Christmas 2022 in Tokyo then and if you got this far then I’d like to wish YOU a Merry Christmas!
Click on the following links to read about Christmas in Tokyo for previous years:
(*) All movies are from 2022 unless noted otherwise…
1. Noel Next Door; 2. We Wish You A Married Christmas; 3. A Kismet Christmas; 4. A Cozy Christmas Inn; 5. Ghosts of Christmas Always; 6. Falling For Christmas; 7. A Gingerbread Christmas; 8. Jolly Good Christmas; 9. Lights, Camera, Christmas!; 10. In Merry Measure; 11. A Magical Christmas Village; 12. Christmas At The Golden Dragon; 13. The Royal Nanny; 14. Inventing The Christmas Prince; 15. All Saints Christmas; 16. Three Wise Men And A Baby; 17. My Southern Family Christmas; 18. A Tale Of Two Christmases; 19. Haul Out The Holly; 20. A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe; 21. A Big Fat Family Christmas; 22. Undercover Holiday; 23. A Holiday Spectacular; 24. A Fabled Holiday; 25. The Most Colorful Time Of The Year; 26. This Is Christmas; 27. Christmas Class Reunion; 28. Christmas Bloody Christmas; 29. The Holiday Sitter; 30. Father Christmas Is Back (2021); 31. Christmas In Paradise; 32. Next Stop, Christmas (2021); 33. #Xmas; 34. Holiday Heritage; 35. Twas The Night Before Christmas; 36. The Santa Stakeout (2021); 37. Hanukkah On Rye; 38. Jingle All The Way (1996); 39. Violent Night; 40. Spirited