Christmas in Japan comes with a difference. “Romantic Christmas Eve” means all the restaurants and love hotels are booked out: woe betide the man who doesn’t buy his loved one an expensive present. Yet the next morning everyone has to tramp off to work, for Christmas Day is no holiday. The birth of the emperor (December 23) takes precedence over the birth of Jesus. That means you get to do things at Christmas you could never do back home, such as go shopping, watch a film or even go to work.