How to Say Merry Christmas in Japanese🎄Key Vocab, Phrases and… KFC?! 

How to Say Merry Christmas in Japanese & Christmas Vocab Quiz! || PLUS What’s the deal with KFC? 🐔

🎅 Ho ho ho, ’tis the season to learn Japanese!

Today we’ll take a look at how to say Merry Christmas in Japanese and learn some essential festival vocab.

Whilst Christmas isn’t a public holiday in Japan, it does have its own quirky Japanese spin.

Perhaps the most interesting cultural phenomenon of all is KFC being the most popular food eaten on Christmas day.

But more on that later…

Merry Christmas in Japanese || Christmas in Japan – KFC on Christmas?!

Merry Christmas in Japanese || 3 Ways to Say Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas in Japanese || Japanese Christmas Vocabulary

Merry Christmas in Japanese || FREE Vocabulary Quiz!

Merry Christmas in Japanese || FAQs

Merry Christmas in Japanese || KFC on Christmas?!

While it’s not a traditional holiday, the Japanese have embraced the spirit of Christmas in their own delightful way.

One quirky and beloved tradition is the Christmas KFC feast.

Japan and KFC on Christmas

KFC: a Christmas staple in Japan

Thanks to a clever marketing campaign in the ’70s, enjoying a bucket of finger-lickin’ good chicken has become a must-do for many Japanese families on Christmas Eve.

People even pre-order their special holiday meals well in advance to ensure they don’t miss out!

It’s now so popular that an estimated 3.6 million Japanese people enjoy a KFC meal each year around Christmas.

The Christmas KFC meals have now gone far beyond buckets of fried chicken, you can now choose options that include cake and wine a very merry Christmas indeed!

Would you eat KFC for your Christmas meal? Let us know in the comments section!

The crazy story of KFC and Christmas in Japan

It’s not ALL about fried chicken…

Christmas in Japan also has a romantic flair.

Christmas Eve is the time for couples to exchange gifts, have a romantic dinner or plan a special date night.

And let’s not forget the festive decorations!

Cities across Japan light up with colorful displays that turn the streets into a winter wonderland, with some using millions of lights to do so.

So, while it may not be a religious holiday for most, Christmas in Japan is still a spectacular time!

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Merry Christmas in Japanese || 3 Ways to Wish Merry Christmas

Not everyone is religious, so it helps to have a couple of back up options for more generic situations.

Merry Christmas

First and foremost, is the classic ‘Merry Christmas’.

Luckily for you Japanese learners, the most common way to this had been adapted from the English language.

It’s simply:



Merry Christmas!

👉 But remember: it’s not just ‘Merry Christmas’, you have to Japanese-ify your accent!

Happy Holidays

Next up is a neutral alternative to ‘Merry Christmas’ that you can use with someone of any background: Happy Holidays.

This one is just a little trickier to write, as it includes kanji instead of just hiragana and katakana.


いいきゅうか を !

Ī fuyu yasumi o

If you’re new to Japanese and wondering exactly what kanji are, take a look at our video explainer below:

Have a Great Winter Break

Last but not least: Have a great winter break!

This one is perfect for classmates, teachers or coworkers who are about to enjoy a well earned rest.



Ī fuyu yasumi o!

If you really want to impress this Christmas, make sure to learn how to say Merry Christmas in Korean, Merry Christmas in Chinese AND Merry Christmas in Vietnamese!

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Basic Phrases in Japanese // Learn 32 Essential Phrases (With Flashcards & FREE Quiz)

Basic Phrases in Japanese // Learn these phrases to make your first steps when learning Japanese. We teach you how to get by when speaking basic Japanese.

Merry Christmas in Japanese || Japanese Christmas Vocabulary

Why stop at learning how to say Merry Christmas in Japanese? There’s so much more to learn!

Here’s our list of essential Christmas vocabulary to set you up for the festive season:

Christmas Day クリスマスの日 くりすますのひkurisumasunohi
Presents プレゼント ぷれぜんとpurezento
Snowman 雪だるま ゆきだるまyukidaruma
Christmas card クリスマスカード くりすますかーどkurisumasukaado
Christmas tree クリスマスツリー くりすますつりーkurisumasutsurii
Christmas lights クリスマスライト くりすますらいとkurisumasuraito
Santa Claus サンタクロース さんたくろーすsantakuroosu
Reindeer トナカイ となかいtonakai
Elf エルフ えるふeruhu
Toys おもちゃ おもちゃomocha
Sleigh そり そりsori
Christmas carols クリスマスキャロル くりすますきゃろるkurisumasukyaroru
Mulled wine ホットワイン ほっとわいんhottowain
Turkey ターキー たーきーtaakii
Stockings 靴下 くつしたkutsushita
Mistletoe ヤドリギ やどりぎyadorigi
Chimney 煙突 えんとつentotsu

Merry Christmas in Japanese || Christmas Vocabulary Quiz

Ok now that we’ve learned lots of new words and phrases in Japanese, it’s time to put that knowledge to the test with a bonus Japanese quiz!

Try answering without peaking at any of the answers above and see how much you learned…

Welcome to Christmas Quiz! Enter your First name and email to begin. Don't worry you can unsubscribe at any time!

First Name
What is turkey in Japanese?

What is snowman in Japanese?

What is reindeer in Japanese?

What is Santa Claus in Japanese?

What is Christmas Day in Japanese?

What is Christmas carols in Japanese?

What is presents in Japanese?

What is Christmas lights in Japanese?

What is mulled wine in Japanese?

What is toys in Japanese?

Merry Christmas in Japanese || FAQs

How do you say Merry Christmas in Japanese?

In Japanese, Merry Christmas is メリークリスマス, which is pronounced merīkurisumasu!

How do you say Santa Claus in Japanese?

In Japanese, Santa Claus is サンタクロース, which is pronounced santakuroosu.

On which day is Christmas celebrated in Japan?

Whilst it’s not a public holiday in Japan, Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December. Christmas Eve, December 24th, is also a special, romantic day celebrated by couples in Japan!

What is Christmas called in Japan?

In Japan, Christmas is クリスマス kurisumasu, a loandword from English that has been ‘Japanese-ified’.

Where can I practice speaking about Christmas in Japanese?

To learn from native-speaker teachers on your schedule, check out our Flexi Classes platform.

Psst… we’re currently offering a 7-day free trial!

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