Celebrating Thanksgiving in Tokyo

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celebrating thanksgiving in tokyo

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Tokyo


Did you know there's a Thanksgiving Day in Japan, too? It's a little different than the one in November many Americans are used to. In Japan, it's Labor Thanksgiving Day ( Kinrō Kansha no Hi or 勤労感謝の日).

As the name implies, Labor Thanksgiving Day is a day to celebrate and be thankful for the hard work of those all over Japan. It began as a harvest festival as far back as 585 BC, but following World War II and the establishment of the new Japanese Constitution, it became a holiday to commemorate new rights for the Japanese people. This year, Labor Thanksgiving is on a Monday, so we'll be able to enjoy a long weekend and a day off from work and school!

Children will often draw pictures that they will present to local firefighters and police officers as a special way of saying "thank you." Many may do this in their classrooms, but even so, it's a fun activity for the whole family to take part in for your neighborhood's protectors, as well.

While many Westerners, specifically Americans, may think of massive turkey dinners when they hear "Thanksgiving," that tradition isn't observed in Japan. Some families may make it a point to have a meal together on their day off and discuss their accomplishments, but Thanksgiving Day in Japan isn't the food fest it is in some other countries.

However, if you are yearning for turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and all the fixins' you are in luck! Not only do several restaurants in Tokyo offer delicious fixed menu Thanksgiving meals (make sure to get reservations!), you can also find the ingredients to whip up a feast in your own home (provided you have a big enough oven....).

The Pink Cow

Check out The Pink Cow if you want to hit up a Thanksgiving buffet, or you'd prefer to order for pick-up OR even delivery. There's even the option to order gluten-free.

The Tokyo American Club

Where else could you get a quintessential American Thanksgiving meal than at TAC? Members and their guests have tons of festive options to choose from beginning 23 November through the 29th

Tysons Company Restaurants 

TY Harbor, Ivy Place, Bond St. Kitchen and Smokehouse all offer their own take on the traditional Thanksgiving meal. You can go big for dinner or get just a taste from the lunch menus!

BLT Steak

If your Thanksgiving speed is more "appetizers of Sea Bream," check out BLT Steak! The fixed menu includes Turkey Day favorites with an upscale twist.

If you'd prefer to stay at home to celebrate (American Thanksgiving is Thursday, 26 November), make your shopping plans now! We've heard you can find turkeys at Costco and Hanamasa and you can always find international sides at National Azabu and Nissin. Additionally, Foreign Buyers Club is already advertising their Christmas selection, but you can score tons of Thanksgiving goodies as well, including a whole Butterball turkey and a themed tablecloth. The Meat Guy also has your turkey needs more than covered.

We don't know about you, but we're feeling festive!


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