Valentine’s day in Japan

So tomorrow is Valentine’s day! To be honest, for me it’s just another excuse to stuff my face with chocolate (well more than I usually do). What’s been really great fun though, was having all my male colleagues seeking advice on what gifts to get their girlfriends. And I’ve been quite impressed by some of the stuff they’ve come up with! Such as booking fancy hotels, fancy restaurants, designing special pictures, and a trip to Paris! いいなぁー! As for us ladies at work? Funnily enough we haven’t planned anything! 😀 Although, Valentine’s day in Europe is for both men and women to give presents to each other, it seems like men make more of an effort (or perhaps they feel pressured to do so).

In Japan however,  February 14th is a day for women to give presents to men, usually chocolate. Men will then have the chance to reciprocate the feeling on what is called “White Day” on March 14th. But I feel like the pressure really is on women, because they don’t just buy chocolate (like we tend to do here), but actually make it. These types of chocolate are called 本命チョコ (honmei choco), meaning a chocolate given out of genuine sentiment. Because of course, you wouldn’t slave away for hours on end in the kitchen for someone you don’t really like.

(image source)
(image source)

This year, you’re even able to give a 3D chocolate image of yourself!

So what kind of chocolate do you get everyone else (male colleagues, boss etc.)? Shop bought 義理チョコ (giri choco), which means obligatory chocolate. Sounds a bit harsh doesn’t it?! I like to think there’s still a bit a sentiment there though…well I hope.

So what’s it gonna be this year? Honmei or giri choco? 😉


(feature image source)


7 thoughts on “Valentine’s day in Japan

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