By Jonathan Head
But as well as the usual decorations and presents, the Japanese have also made this season into an uniquely romantic one.
Christmas Eve has, for reasons no-one has been able to explain to me, become the most romantic night of the calendar.
At a time when many Christians are in church, it has become a tradition for young couples to enjoy their first moments of passion; for suitors to propose marriage; for older couples to escape the noisy confines of the family home for a rare night of intimacy.
Ideally, this should happen in a luxury hotel. But these are booked up months in advance, and are beyond the pockets of many Japanese.