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While we were already busy filling our faces with fried chicken, our friends over at JapanCulture•NYC – still with a few hours to go until December 25 arrived – sent us a few snaps of their own office Christmas tree before packing up for the holidays. For a site based in New York City and that’s all about Japanese culture in the area, we probably shouldn’t have been surprised that they put a cute, Japanese twist on the traditional ornaments, but this tree brought huge smiles to our faces.

With tiny octopuses, smiling onigiri riceballs and even Kumamon dressed as Santa, this is probably the best cross-culture Christmas tree we’ve seen this season, and we’re thoroughly jealous.

Check out these snaps courtesy of JapanCulture•NYC:

▼East meets West with Christmas lights, ukiyo-e prints and traditional Japanese dolls

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▼ Okinawan beer!? Even in Tokyo we’re not drinking that! Jealous!

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▼ The tree itself

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▼ OK, it’s very pretty, but it seems fairly standard so far…

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▼ Wait, is that Date Masamune as an onigiri rice ball!?

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▼And a Yuzu manju!!! OK, an ordinary Christmas tree this is not!

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▼A smiling Japanese kitty between the branches

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▼ A sakura cherry blossom ornament in bloom

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▼ And, of course, a traditional Christmas octopus handing from a branch!

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▼ Even Kumamon – Kumamoto Prefecture’s now famous mascot – makes an appearance!

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I think we at RocketNews24 need to pull our socks up next year – these guys are thousands of miles away from Japan and they put on a far better show than us!

For more Japanese culture in the Big Apple, head over to JapanCulture•NYC. Thanks for sharing the pics, guys!

Photos: JapanCulture•NYC