Japan may not have got the Jesus Christmas, but they definitely got the Coca Cola Christmas (Why Coca Cola? Look up the origins of modern Santa Claus…). As such, Christmas is weirdly, a time for couples, and other random stuff. Most companies in Japan don’t even give Christmas/Christmas Eve as a day off. Rather than get into how completely the point was missed, I think I’ll just describe what I did with my Christmasy-time.

Me and some friends went to see some illuminations (I was against it all the way until we were at the gate, at which point, I continued to be against having come until we left… though it was a little bit of fun. Only a little.). You might remember these as the things that are up on your neighbor’s houses on Christmas, maybe done specifically well on some streets or in some parks. Here, it’s been made into almost a attraction all on it’s own. It’s very couple themed, but I went in a group, so I was fine, I guess.

Illuminations are what you think they are. Lights. Also, there were real photographers there with things like tripods and really expensive cameras and lenses… I’m still a hobbyist, so I did my best, but I don’t think most of these pictures are very good. I also am not too intensely interested in static light shows.

With that sentiment, I’ll start the picture roll…

These lights were not at the illuminations, per say, but they were definitely there on the way to the official illuminations site.

Here's a pyramid that was lit up... Or should I say, illuminated?

Some pyramids we saw, that were there....

Red Pyramid... Pretty much as you see here.

A beautifully lit walkway that we were walking along while we were there watching the other beautifully lit stuff.

It's a fountain. Regular fountain, no chocolate/cheese or anything. Just statues.

Tried to take an artsy picture of one of the decorations we could actually get close to...

Try number 2... Or was it number 1?

A pretty wide view of the illuminated floor portion of the park... There were a lot of lights on the grass...

I don't know where this road leads, but I want to go there.

And of course, there were tons of shops (one from which I brought an ice cream cone), some of them even seling turkey legs that were markedly smaller than those at disney land/world, but still look AWESOME.

Don't know what these things were supposd to be, but I just assumed they were some sort of light wombs...

Some more illuminationscape.

because you haven't gotten a good enough idea of just how many lights were on the floor...

Kind of unrelated, but this a popular restaurant chain in Tokyo... As you can see, the name is Jonathans... I do not know Jonathan, but he has a very nice restaurant.

And to end it all, some more pyramids.

In addition to watching lit pyramids, The University threw us a Christmas function, including a real choir (well… maybe not the choir some might be used to, I won’t say any more than that) — and Alcohol. I have never in my life been to a school function that went ahead and assumed that all people involved were over-age, AND if that wasn’t enough, found that it was OK to drink while celebrating whatever needed to be celebrated.

Japan is indeed a different place from the US. Maybe I just haven’t been to enough university functions, but the trust here is outstanding. Needless to say there might have been some minors that drank. I guess it’s all in good fun, because the event was certainly a lot of fun.

As is customary for any Japanese celebration (or so I have heard and witnessed), there were speeches to start off the night, after the choir sang some songs.

The afore-mentioned alcohol that was there.

We played a huge group game that was about doing things that others could not... One of the groups decided that a human pyramid was a good idea. I took pictures of it.

SUPER UNRELATED, but that is the guy from men in black, and he's a spokesman for a coffee named BOSS. Is that not awesome?

The usual BOSS Logo

As the year comes to an end, I look out my window and snap pictures. Wrote a haiku right after ths one.

Good picture, maybe?

And with that… The year pretty much came to an end. What an awesome year, filled with fabulous people, a great study abroad experience, and all that jazz (there’s many more things I’m grateful for, they just would take a long time to put into words). Japanese Christmas was great (well, minus the lack of actual meaning to the holiday)!