Christmas in Tokyo is a mind-boggling mashup of traditions, with fancy cakes, KFC chicken buckets (yes, really) and romantic dinners on Christmas Eve, which is considered the Japanese Valentine's Day.
Continental-style markets, however, still play a prominent role in the lead-up to the big day. The German influence is the most pronounced, probably due to the year-round popularity of beer, which often appears to be the main attraction.
It's all very convenient, though: shopping for gifts while holding a hot cup of glühwein (mulled wine) or a glass of weissbier makes it all far less stressful. Nonetheless, do take care – the dreaded cliché overdose may strike even the most ardent of Christmas lovers.
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