Easter in Japan: A Unique Blend of Tradition and Modernity

by Nana Young

Despite having only a tiny percentage of Christians, Japan celebrates Easter with the rest of the world. Check out our guide on how to enjoy Easter in Japan. We’ve got tips and advice to help you have the best of times this spring.

The Emergence of Easter Celebrations in Japan

Small ,baby rabbit in easter basket with fluffy fur and easter eggs in the fresh,green spring landscape. Ideal as an easter card or greeting card or wallpaper.

Easter is a Christian festival dedicated to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, three days after he was crucified. It comes after Lent, which is a time of fasting and prayer for many Christians. The preceding Sunday and Friday before Easter are called Palm Sunday and Good Friday, respectively. Both are equally important religious holidays. 

There is no specific year-to-year date for Easter on the calendar. It’s a movable feast that typically occurs on one of the Sundays between March 22 and April 25. The church carries out a complex calculation (computus) to determine the date each year. In 2024, the date of Easter was determined to be March 31. Countries that consider Christianity a state religion make Easter Day and its related holidays public holidays. 

Easter is celebrated in Japan. Despite having a Christian population of only 1%, Japan has taken several Christian holidays to heart, including Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Easter is no different, although it took a little longer to catch on than the other celebrations. Nowadays, the holiday has started to make its presence felt in Japan, blending with local customs and traditions.

Foreigners who travel to Japan during the Easter season can rest assured that they can celebrate the holidays almost like they would at home, with only a few interesting twists. Find out what these twists are in the rest of this post as we explore Japan’s Easter traditions, events, themed items, food, and more. 

Easter Traditions in Japan: A Growing Phenomenon

Children are painting easter eggs in art class

Easter celebrations only began getting significant traction in Japan in the last decade. At first, it started with major businesses trying to appeal to the Western tourists who loved visiting Japan in the spring. These companies sold Easter-themed chocolates, brunches, egg hunts, and other treats. Thankfully, Japan’s affinity for Western celebrations such as Halloween and Christmas prevailed, and even the locals began to participate in the celebrations.

If you spend Easter in Japan, you can celebrate the holiday in the same way you would at home. There are bunnies, lambs, egg hunts, and chocolate. Many families host dinners with plenty of food and drinks, just like they do in the West. There may be no specific Easter traditions in Japan but everyone seems to celebrate in their own way. The festivals that take place at that time help to add a touch of local customs and traditions to the celebrations.

Japanese Festivals During Easter

: A Japanese float is being prepared for Takayama Spring Festival on April

Several traditional Japanese festivals take place around the same period as Easter: Learn about them below:

Takayama Festival: This is one of the top 3 most beautiful matsuri in the entire country. It’s held twice a year: once in spring and another time in autumn. We’re most concerned about the spring festival from April 14 to 15 because of its proximity to Easter. The Takayama Festival is held at Hie Shrine in the old town of Takayama City. The event includes a parade featuring lots of beautifully decorated festival floats and portable shrines

Bunkyo Azalea Festival: This is a festival of flowers that’s held at the Nezu Shrine in mid-to-late April. One of the oldest religious sites in Japan, the shrine is home to a 6,600-square-meter azalea garden that’s over 300 years old. The festival includes art exhibitions and flower-viewing ceremonies.

The combination of the Western festivities of Easter and the local traditions of Japanese matsuri creates a spectacular atmosphere in Tokyo, Osaka, and other major cities.

Do Japanese Celebrate Easter? Understanding the Cultural Context

ortrait of surprised little boy lying on the grass and finding easter eggs, shot with blurred background

Yes, people in Japan celebrate Easter. Although public perception does not recognize it as a religious holiday, people acknowledge Easter as a fun and adorable event. Hence, the majority of Japanese celebrants are young people and families. Their love for fun events and cute items is the main reason behind the growing popularity of the holiday in Japan.

Citizens and tourists celebrate Easter by attending events and visiting theme parks. Others go to some of the popular hotels that hold special Easter brunches. You’ll find a lot of decorations in households, offices, restaurants, and shopping malls, which add to the festive atmosphere and holiday spirit. Then there’s the food served at some of these establishments, a rich blend of Japanese and Western cuisine. The Christian community in Japan, although small, usually hosts Easter events such as egg hunts and parades, which are open to people of all religions and nationalities. Anyone who wishes to celebrate Easter in Japan will never run out of ways to do it!

Easter-Themed Events: From Egg Hunts to Parades

You can attend various Easter-themed events held across Japan, such as egg hunts, parades, and themed parties in parks and public spaces. Local communities and societies usually organize the egg hunts, which take place in parks. Dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of Easter eggs are hidden at the park, and children are tasked with finding them. These eggs are filled with tasty treats or fun prizes. If you're looking for fun activities to do with your family this Easter, egg hunts are perfect. Here are some great parks where you can organize your own egg hunts:

  • Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)

  • Nagai Park (Osaka)

  • Nikko National Park (Honshu)

  • Ryoan-ji Temple (Kyoto)

  • Shinjuku Gyoen (Tokyo)

Alternatively, you could visit a nearby theme park. Below, we’ll explore two of the best in the country.

Easter at Japanese Theme Parks: Disney Sea and Universal Studios

All rights reserved to @Disney

Disney Sea is one of the most popular theme parks in Japan. Located next to Tokyo Disneyland, it typically focuses on the water and ice tales of the Disney franchise, including Frozen and Snow White. However, during Easter, the park is filled with colorful decorations and unique shows that incorporate all the stories of the franchise. The best one is the Easter parade, which features popular characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Aladdin all dressed in Disney’s Easter-related costumes. The food stalls and restaurants in the park also offer a variety of themed snacks and drinks. Unfortunately this year Easter theme was not included, but let's stay hopeful for next year's line up!

All rights reserved to @Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan is located in Osaka and was the first of its kind outside of the United States. It’s famous for thrill rides like Jurassic Park and Jaws. The atmosphere in the park during the Easter holiday can be very exciting, with colorful decorations and special events, including the famous Easter Egg Hunt. Both adults and children get to search the park for hidden eggs and those who find them win awesome prizes. Other Easter attractions at the park are live shows, parades, character meet-and-greets, and restaurants with seasonal dishes and Easter food.

Easter Foods in Japan: A Culinary Twist on Tradition

Funny chickens from eggs on the Easter table. Snack of cheese and almonds

Easter is the best time to enjoy limited-edition food and drinks in Japan. Many fine establishments in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Kyoto produce these one-off products to appeal to the Western tourists in the city. Japanese bakeries, pastry shops, and cafes sell special sweet treats, including chick-shaped manju cakes (Meika Hiyoko), dango, mochi, ichigo daifuku, and sakuranbo kirara. Certain hotels also offer special Easter-themed treats for visitors and guests. We recommend the Peninsula Hotel, Shangri-La, Palace Hotel, and Grand Hyatt Tokyo.

Shopping for Easter: Seasonal Goods and Souvenirs


There’s no shortage of seasonal Easter goods and souvenirs in Japanese stores during Easter. These items make great gifts for the special people in your life. Easter-themed chocolates and sweets are the most rampant. You’ll find colorful bunnies, eggs, and chicks filled with delicious chocolate, macarons, sweet red bean paste, strawberries, yuzu, almonds, or other ingredients at boutiques and shops all over the country. Seasonal fruit baskets, gourmet snack boxes, flower bouquets, bunny ears, holiday baskets, and wine sets also make fantastic gifts.

Easter Decorations: Japan’s Artistic Take on the Holiday

Bunny shrine in Kyoto Japan

Many shops in Japan also sell decorative and edible egg dye. Use them to paint eggs with the family. There are other decorations available at the shops, including Easter gnomes, egg bouquets, and bunny baskets. A visit to Japanese shopping districts will reveal even more decorations, some of them adorning shopping malls, homes, and public areas. These decorations mix Japanese artistic styles with Easter themes. Hotels are not left out, as some of them use these Western decorations to make their foreign gifts feel like they never left home. Some of the best Easter decorations in Japan can be found at churches and worship centers.

Easter and Education: School Activities and Community Engagement

Lesson of origami. Easter rabbits from paper in Japan

Local schools and community centers are not left out of the celebrations. Egg hunting events are especially popular among young students, leading many schools to organize them at nearby parks. Some schools also organize parades, sometimes in collaboration with other schools or organizations. Churches and non-profits use community centers to host Easter-themed events and cultural exchange programs. 

The Influence of Pop Culture on Easter in Japan

Group Of Children Wearing Bunny Ears Running To Pick Up Chocolate Egg On Easter Egg Hunt In Garden

One of the reasons for Japan’s recent interest in Easter celebrations stems from the influence of pop culture. Perhaps the most notable is the use of the term “Easter Eggs” to refer to subtle messages or images hidden in movies and video games. The term draws parallels with egg hunting practices, which are now a common part of Easter in Japan. Western movies with Easter themes that were successful enough to make it to Japanese screens have also contributed to its growing recognition. Only a handful of anime and manga mention the Christian event. Chapter 66 of Black Butler is one of the rare manga that truly incorporates Easter festivities into its storyline.

Comparing Easter in Japan with Other Countries

Cute little boy with basket on green grass in park. Easter egg hunt concept

While many of the other countries that celebrate Easter do so as a religious holiday, most people in Japan celebrate because it’s fun. There are hardly any religious affiliations with the holiday, which is why it remains unrecognized by the Japanese government. However, much like in other countries with multiple religions, Japan respects the traditions and rites of Christian people in the country. Everyone is free to celebrate the holiday however they like.

The Future of Easter in Japan: Trends and Predictions

Seeing that the Easter celebration in Japan only started less than a decade ago, we can expect it to grow even bigger in the coming years. Globalization, cultural exchange, and changing societal values could mean that the Japanese government might consider making Easter Day a public holiday in the future.

No matter where you are in the world, you can treat your loved ones to a taste of Easter in Japan. Bokksu Boutique offers a wide range of seasonal gifts and souvenirs, straight from Japan.

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