It’s that time of the year again: everyone making plans on how to spend Valentine’s Day with their loved ones around the world. What have you planned? Perhaps a romantic dinner or a cruise with your beloved.
Japan also celebrates Valentine’s Day in a big way but has a slightly different take compared to the rest of the world.
♥ Valentine’s Day – February 14 ♥
When you watch Japanese films or dramas, have you noticed that many women exchange gifts and often you see women giving something to men?
If you’re visiting Japan during early February, you will probably be surprised by the long queues of women at department stores in front of chocolate shops. This is because, in Japan, women give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day; this trend apparently started in the 1950s, purely a business idea.
For some reason, unlike most Western countries, the trend in Japan is not only opposite but also varies in terms of who gives chocolates to whom. It’s not only an exchange of presents between romantic partners but also between friends and colleagues. One month after Valentine’s Day, Japan celebrates White Day on March 14. This is when men give presents, mostly chocolate, to women.
Of course, over the years, things seem to be changing. There are men who give gifts on V-day. But what has really caught on in recent times is giving chocolates to your male colleagues, friends and even bosses. Let’s see what are the different kinds of chocolates sold for this day.
Know the difference!
So what kind of chocolate should you give. All shops offer different packaging and price ranges. The more expensive the chocolate, the person has to reciprocate in the same manner on White Day.
● Honmei Choco (true feeling)
This is given to someone who you have romantic feelings for! Your boyfriend, husband or even someone you wish to be your boyfriend. These are usually costlier than the other chocolates available.
● Giri Choco (obligation chocolate)
The most inexpensive and probably plain type of chocolate given to colleagues, acquaintances and anyone you have no romantic attachment to. Often in work places, women give chocolates to everyone including females.
● Tomo Choco (friend chocolate)
Tomo means friend and these are exchanged between close friends. Many women make handmade chocolates as an expression of their gratitude. It’s a nice way to say thank you to someone you love and admire.
● Gyaku Choco (reverse chocolate)
Gyaku means reverse and apparently some progressive men give chocolates to women too (LOL)! This is a recent trend and not at all common.
● Jibun Choc (self chocolate)
This is basically chocolate you make or purchase for yourself and consume alone. Apparently people spend the most on “self” chocolates.
So how do you plan to spend your V-day? Will you be giving something to someone special?
And if you’re in Japan, don’t forget to pop into a department store just to check out the amazing packaging.