Japan Expo Bay Area - August 22-24, 2014 San Mateo Event Center, California

Valentine's Day in Japan

February 14th is Valentine’s Day! In the U.S we usually just spend it giving cards, having dinner with a significant other, or men giving women flowers. In Japan though, they have a unique Valentine’s culture.

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It is a time for big businesses in Japan to make money so it’s no surprise that the marketing strategy would be heavily focused on Valentine’s Day.

“According to the research ‘Valentine Survey 2013’ by Internet research company Macromill, 83% of working women said they have a plan to buy a Valentine present. Among the responses, 60% women said they buy only chocolate as a gift and 21% of women said they buy chocolate and another gift. In addition, the amount spent for a Valentine gift averages 4,758 yen (about 40 dollars).” (source: gotokyo.org)

Valentine’s Day in Japan is mostly women giving the chocolate to the men. As opposed to here in the U.S  where men give women flowers.

Now there are two types of chocolate to be given to men, the giri chocolate which is given to male friends, boss, co-workers as courtesy, and the honmei chocolate which is reserved for the women’s one true love, boyfriend, or husband. Chocolates could either be purchased or homemade.

The big name department stores will have the annual chocolate festivals as well as workshops to make chocolates in stores as well.

Women have the option of buying something other than chocolate. This includes cake, donuts, sushi, chocolate bath, fish cake (image on the right), and many other options. If you DO want to buy chocolate here are some of the many choices being offered this year.


Have you ever bought any chocolates that were as fancy as these?

Let us know in the comments below!

Besides a dinner there are also other events for couples such as:

  • Fan meetings with girl groups such as Momoiro Clover Z and K-pop group, Girls Generation.
  • Tokyo Disneyland with the annual "Valentine Nights" show
  • Tokyo Skytree which is chocolate decorated and the couple nightview and dinner
  • See some chocolate art at Ginza's Bulgari Tower
  • The Valentine's Day tour at Ueno Zoo
  • Visiting the Kit Kat Cafe
  • Concerts!

One special event that is happening is the "Flower Valentine" movement which offers a special flower to any couple that makes a reservation on February 13 or 14 during Japan Restaurant Week 2015. This is to help adopt the Western Valentine's Day tradition to Japan.

Although the adaption of Valentine's Day may be different in Japan compared to the United States it is still an enjoyable day to spend time with their loved one.

(Article Source: Japan Today)

Tags :

  • Culture & Traditions
  • Lifestyle
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