It's Christmas eve, I'm just home, having finally.... managed to find something for Hiro.
There is a great sense of achievement in that. The shops were chock full of people. Queues for Christmas cakes - in Japan it means a strawberry sponge - see below were in places more than 70 people long; people winding up and down stairs, through shops and even across roads. It's hard to imagine there could be anything worth queuing like that for.. From the look of the department stores food floors in Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ebisu, where I was today, you wouldn't imagine that Japan was in recession. The clothing and living floors were not nearly so busy. Although Japanese celebrate Christmas - mostly with the afore mentioned Christmas cakes and eating chicken - in particular KFC (turkey--> chicken--> KFC), serious gift giving has not been adopted. Christmas in Japan is often compared with Valentine's day in the US. There are enough gift giving seasons in Japan without adding Christmas into the equation!
I went to Ebisu in my Christmas shopping quest. It's a very upmarket area of Tokyo, where the proportion of (Japanese and foreign) English speakers would probably be much higher than average in Tokyo. Nevertheless it reminded me that English in Japan tends to be decoration. Eternal lights that end mid Jan.... hmmm....
Enough of the Grinch and Scrooge Merry Christmas!!
I pinched the Christmas cake from a blog - enasan.net/blog/news/000646.php