National

60% of Japanese eat something special for Christmas, poll finds

JIJI

A recent Jiji Press survey has shown that 57.4 percent of people in Japan eat something special for Christmas and that about half of such people buy take-out food.

The proportion of respondents who said they have a special meal to celebrate Christmas every year came to 33.8 percent, compared with last year’s 33.6 percent. Those who said they have such a meal almost every year accounted for 23.6 percent, down from 24.7 percent.

Of those who eat something special, only 11.5 percent, down from 12.5 percent, said they dine out, and 47.2 percent said they buy cooked food to eat at home or somewhere else, slightly up from 40.9 percent.

The proportion of those who said they have a home-made meal stood at 39.9 percent, down from 45.8 percent.

The survey also showed that most people in Japan have special meals traditionally eaten in the country during the year-end and New Year’s holiday period, such as toshikoshi (year-crossing) soba noodles and osechi New Year’s dishes.

The proportion of respondents who said they eat toshikoshi noodles came to 88.2 percent, down from 90.2 percent. Those who said they eat osechi dishes accounted for 76.1 percent, down from 78.9 percent.

Of those who eat osechi, 19.6 percent said they cook all dishes at home, down from 22.7 percent. Those who said they cook most dishes at home and buy some made up 35.3 percent, compared with 35.7 percent.

The share of respondents who said they buy most osechi dishes and cook some at home came to 28.7 percent, up from 23.1 percent. Meanwhile, 10.9 percent said they buy all of their osechi dishes, down from 13.7 percent, and 3.1 percent said they go out for osechi meals, up from 2.6 percent.

The survey conducted between Nov. 8 and Nov. 11 covered 1,986 people aged 18 and older across Japan, excluding areas affected by Typhoon Hagibis, which struck the country in mid-October. Valid answers were collected from 62.5 percent.