Girls can express their love to that special boy in their life on Valentine’s Day, but it is not as simple as that. There are different types of chocolate giving on Valentine’s Day. These include:
Giri-choco (義理チョコ) obligation chocolate given to male friends, work mates, family and bosses. Giri means ("obligation") in Japanese and choco, ("chocolate"). There is no romantic association with giri-choco and it is just chocolate that you have to give to people. These are usually ordinary, inexpensive store brought chocolate and can range in price from 100 yen to 500 yen.
|Various Chocolates on display in a Department Store|
Honmei-choco (本命チョコ) chocolates for that special one who you want to express your love to such as boyfriend, lover or husband. This type of chocolate is special, so it is usually handmade by the girls themselves or is a really expensive chocolate from a store, often presented together with a gift. You are very lucky if you can get honmei-choco on Valentine’s Day!
|There are lots of different types ranging from the cheap to very expensive|
Tomo-choco (友チョコ) this is chocolate that girls give to friends and is usually inexpensive. This kind of chocolate has become more popular in Japan in recent years.
Jibun-choco (自分チョコ) chocolates that girls just buy for themselves. Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to something special.
|Nama chocolate is always a popular choice for Valentine's Day in Japan|
Chocolate is the most popular gift for Valentine’s Day in Japan. Other popular gifts include cookies and small cakes. The department stores and supermarkets will be fully stocked with all sorts of chocolate days and weeks before the actual day. There are usually long queues at the stores in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Mr Donuts and Krispy Kreme in Japan also had several special donuts on sale just for Valentine’s Day. Mr Donuts had ハートチュロ (Heart Churros) and ふんわりハート(Soft Heart) donuts. Both were very good and extremely sweet.
|Mr Donuts Heart Churros|
|Mr Donuts Soft Heart Donut|
This year, I also heard about "Valentine’s Insurance” in Japan. A guy can take out an insurance policy if he feels like he might not receive any chocolates on Valentine’s Day. A box of chocolates will arrive in the mail and he can feel that little bit special on the day.
I hope you had a great Valentine's Day this year wherever you are in the world.