Japan has some unusual Christmas customs. Firstly, Christmas day is not a public holiday in Japan. This is because there are no public holidays for any religions here. All public holidays are secular, at least based on their names, although some of them are cleverly disguised Buddhist or Shinto holidays. All of this doesn't stop the shops here playing very Christian Christmas Carols (that many shops probably wouldn't in the West these days out of fear of offending non-Christian customers), but only in English. I wonder what would happen if they started playing Christian Christmas Carols in Japanese? Would people complain, since Japan is only 1% Christian?
There are some other unusual customs for Christmas. It seems more like a valentines day, especially Christmas eve is considered a time for a romantic meal with your significant other. Then there's the fact that all of the Christmas decorations disappear and Christmas songs stop on Christmas day to make way for the New Years decorations and New Years music (traditional Japanese style). Also people don't eat turkey for Christmas here, they eat chicken.
The custom of eating chicken for Christmas in Japan began with believe it or not: KFC! People here thought that good olde Colonel Sanders looked like Santa-san (as he's called in Japan) and KFC started a big marketing campaign for Christmas. Slowly each of the other fast food chains here started making their own Christmas Chickens and also traditional Japanese Chicken shops. So here it doesn't matter if you eat fried, bbq, roast, or teriyaki for Christmas as long as it's chicken.
The chicken shop in this photo is a traditional Japanese one located in the Nishiki markets in Kyoto. No matter what time of the year you come to Kyoto, make sure you include the Nishiki markets on your itinerary for an authentic Kyoto experience. If none of the traditional foods there take your fancy, there are four very unique ice cream shops in the markets that you should try if you like ice cream. Nishiki markets are located one block north of Shijo Dori on Nishiki Dori, between Karasuma Dori and Teramachi Dori. The nearest stations are Hankyu's Karasuma Station and the Kyoto Subway's Shijo-Karasuma Station.
This photo was captured with a Nikon D700 camera and an AF Nikkor 24/f2.8D lens. This is the original jpeg from the camera, no post processing has been performed on this image.