Japan Australia Pages

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine’s Day in Japan 2013

Valentine’s Day in Japan is very different from home in Australia. The date is the same, February 14th, but in Japan it is all about the chocolates. The tradition in Japan is for the girls to give chocolates to the boys. It is totally up to the girls to show who they like by presenting them with chocolate. The favour is returned to the girls on a special day called White Day, which is celebrated a month later on March 14th.

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.

8 comments:

  1. All the many levels of chocolate giving in Japan. ;)

    But chocolate insurance? That's... sad. ;p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lina, Yeah it can get very complicated here, but Chocolate Insurance. That is a new one!

      John

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  2. I didn't give any chocolate to anybody this year. *g* Not even to my co-workers!
    At my new workplace it's not expected that you give "giri choco". Lucky! ^_^

    I did buy some chocolate for myself. After all "jibun choco" is the best!

    I wish I knew about those great donuts, but unfortunately there is not Mr. Donuts nearby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks ZJ, Yeah, the Mr Donuts donuts were really good. The Krispy Kreme ones also looked really good, but haven't tried them yet :)

      John

      Delete
  3. Gotta love the "Valentine’s Insurance”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks AS, That's a new one, but not sure if I really like it to tell the truth.

      John

      Delete
  4. Chocolate is the best part of Valentine, except for the love making, of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true Laura. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

      John

      Delete

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