Easter is not generally celebrated in Japan, but the growing community of western expats in the country means that provisions for the festival have increased in recent years. If you’re keen to get into the festive spirit in Kobe, here are a few suggestions on where to go and what to do.
Go on an Easter Egg Hunt
Easter egg hunts are the perennial favorite Easter activity for kids (and some adults!) so, if you have young ones, this can be a great way of spending a day to get in the festival spirit. Unlike in countries such as the US or the UK where Easter egg hunts are everywhere during the holiday period, Japan doesn’t have many such hunts but they are to be found. In Kobe, the Lifehouse Kobe International Church is hosting an event beginning from 11:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday (April 21) that is free. The Kobe Club also often organizes Easter egg hunts and other Easter-related activities so it’s worth checking the events schedule. You can check here for local and nationwide egg hunts, parades and other events. If you don’t see anything you fancy, another option is to organize your own egg hunt for local families if there’s enough demand.
Visit the Universal Studios Theme Park
Another option if you have kids to entertain and a day to spare is to travel to nearby Osaka where the popular Universal Studios Theme Park is running an Easter Celebration from March 15 to June 23, featuring everything from themed rides to egg hunts plus a whole load of Easter-related sweets, snacks and merchandise available. Check the website for times and booking information.
Fill Your Home with Easter Goodies
Easter is a time when many people stay at home and spend time with the family, eat chocolate goodies and sometimes kit rooms out with decorations such as Easter bunnies and baskets. There are a number of shops and supermarkets selling festive supplies either in-store or online. Kobe stores worth visiting include Baskin Robbins for Easter-themed ice-cream and sweets, Kaldi Coffee that offers a small selection of festive candy, Seijo Ishii for a limited run of chocolate eggs and jelly beans, and Flying Tiger Copenhagen for festive gifts and decorations. Japanese food supplier Morinaga is also selling Easter goods. For a wider selection of products online, you can try the Foreign Buyers Club or the Japan Center.
Attend a Church Service
Easter is one of the most important annual festivals in the Christian calendar and most churches will have their own Easter schedule of services and activities running from Good Friday (April 19) to Easter Monday (April 22), with some churches having a longer timetable of services. If you’re looking to attend a service over the Easter period, you can find a list of churches and religious organizations on the Kobe International Community Center website. Some churches also run community activities during this period, such as the Kobe Union Church that has a breakfast and a picnic on Easter Sunday.
Enjoy an Easter Latte at Tully’s Coffee
If you fancy turning a coffee break into an Easter-themed extravaganza, head down to Tully’s in the Kobe Fashion Mart. The coffee chain is getting into the festive spirit by offering both hot and cold Easter lattes featuring cute chocolate bunny ears, decorative sprinkles and plenty of whipped cream.