Christmas in Japan: Hundreds queue outside of KFC branches in Tokyo for Japanese Christmas tradition

Though Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, it has become a celebration of all things western

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Dozens of people in Tokyo have spent Christmas eve queueing at KFC branches across the city, in anticipation of the restaurant chain's Christmas menu.

It is thought 3.6 million households will have KFC as their Christmas feast in Japan this year.

Historically, the country does not celebrate Christmas and it is not a national holiday unlike many countries in the West. 

Back in the 1970's KFC noticed that foreigners could not get hold of turkey at Christmas and many chose to opt for fried chicken as a replacement.

The chain launched a marketing campaign with a new menu - Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii! (meaning 'Kentucky for christmas!') - including Champagne along with buckets of chicken. 

The campaign worked so well that queueing on Christmas Eve to tuck into a festive deep fried treat has become a tradition in itself, with the outlets now so busy at Christmas that pre-booking is mandatory.