Do you know where Christmas was first celebrated in Japan? The answer is…Yamaguchi City!
In 1551, Francis Xavier came to Yamaguchi City for missionary work and spread Christianity throughout Yamaguchi. The following year, the missionaries invited Japanese followers to the parish house where they all sang hymns and ”celebrated Christmas in Japan for the first time.”
This was relatively unknown until the Xavier Church was rebuilt in the 1990’s after a fire. Since 1997, various events have been held every December throughout the city inspired by the phrase, ”Yamaguchi City, the birthplace of the Japanese Christmas.”
This year, events include a gospel performance, the light-up of Ichinosaka River, a Christmas party in the shopping arcade, and a concert in Yuda Onsen. Over 40 events, please check it out at: http://www.yamaguchi-city.jp/event/4075.html