Valentine’s Day in Japan might be inspired by western culture, but it has become something entirely unique over the years. Despite sharing a date on the calendar, the tradition couldn’t be any more different to what you’re probably used to.
Get Valentine’s right for your Japanese lover by learning about some unique traditions this year.
It’s the Women Who Give Valentine’s Gifts in Japan
On Valentine’s Day in Japan, it is typically the men who receive gifts. It’s quite a simple tradition, but, as with many things to do with Japanese culture, a certain protocol must be observed.
Japanese women give gifts not only to their lovers, but also to their colleagues, bosses, and male friends.
With chocolate being the gift of choice, there are two distinct varieties…
Honmei (True Love) Choco, is a high-quality chocolate that is more expensive, elaborate, and often tastier than other varieties. It is given to a husband, lover, or even a potential love interest. Giving this kind of chocolate is largely symbolic, expressing love, desire, and passion.
Giri (Obligation) Choco, is a more standard type of chocolate that is given to friends, colleagues, employers, and other males on Valentine’s Day. There is no romantic attachment when Giri Choco is given.
If you’re in Japan, then you’ll find special Giri and Honmei chocolates marketed in the leadup to Valentine’s Day.
Women Aren’t Left Out of the Celebration
Japanese Valentine’s Day has a follow-up exactly one month later. White Day falls every year on March 14th.
Japanese men reciprocate with their own gifts for romantic interests and any women who gave them gifts on Valentine’s Day. In line with tradition, White Day gifts given by men should be at least two times more valuable than those that they received.
Marshmallows, white chocolate, cookies, and cakes are often given as non-romantic gifts.
White lingerie and white jewelry (silver, white gold, platinum etc.) are common romantic gifts.
Impress Your Japanese Lover This Year
Protocol is very important in Japan and to Japanese people around the world. With an understanding of the Japanese traditions of Valentine’s Day and White Day, you’ll be able to follow cultural standards and give Bunchful gifts to somebody incredibly special, along with any of your friends and acquaintances.