Happy Holiday Season!

First, Happy Thanksgiving! 

It was very strange to have one of my favorite holidays go so unmarked that we nearly forgot it was Thanksgiving until the end of the day yesterday (It’s now Friday morning here, but still Thanksgiving in the US. Although the East Coast at least has probably moved on to full-on early bird Black Friday Shopping Day, huh?). We just had Indian food like it was a regular day (but leftover sweet potato popcorn for dessert back at the hotel…that’s almost like sweet potato pie, right?) 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a great start to the holiday season!

To that end, here in Japan it is again time to make your Christmas reservations at Kentucky Fried Chicken. 


I’m not sure why that is a thing? Maybe KFC is considered a Very American restaurant or something? Christmas is definitely secondary to New Year’s here, which is a major holiday – the biggest?- with all kinds of traditions such as special symbolic foods, delivering cards on the actual day – not before or after (there are special post boxes just for NYD cards so you can mail them whenever [cards start being stocked in stores, all featuring the zodiac animal for the year – rooster for 2017, FYI – in October] but then postal carriers know they don’t get delivered until Jan. 1) and ritual obligations like visiting ancestral shrines, etc. But Christmas is obviously an import and as such, has been interpreted with some quirky Japan twists, including KFC as the place to go.

Actually, it’s probably well past time to make reservations. In 2011, signs reminding folks to do so started appearing in early November. By now, they are probably fully booked up.

But never fear, because other American chains ubiquitous in Japan are getting in on the action too:


7-11 has a whole Christmas catalog  so you can cater your Christmas meal through them.


I’m not sure what is actually going on in this scene? Is it a zoo? A circus? A formal dinner? I guess it really is a magical Christmas with 7-11!

Anyway, have safe and happy holiday season everyone!

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