Valentine’s day in Japan

joyalariwoStarred Page By joyalariwo, 7th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>Holidays & Celebrations

The 14th of February is known all over the world as Valentine’s Day, the Japanese celebrate it in a rather unique way… but sorry ladies, its only for the men!

The 14th of February

If you are of the fairer sex and it’s the 14th of February, your expectations obviously would be high. Cos you anticipate the dinner dates, the gifts, the gazillion boxes of Chocolates, you aim to get and consume and oh lets not forget the dozens of red roses to come your way, possibly all day.... but wait a minute, did you just say that you were in Japan?

Well then… you’re in for a rude shock, cos you won’t be getting any of those, rather you would be the one lavishing all those gifts, cards, chocolates and what have you on your man and that is what I call, Valentine’s day Japanese style.

Val Day In Japan Is Only For The Men!

When it comes to expressing love for their men, the Japanese females are said to be in the ah… shy department.

So in other not to feel awkward about it, every 14th of February was set aside, since 1978 for all Japanese women to shower love on their male folk. Its very unlike what happens, in the other parts of the world but the message of love still remains the same.

White day holiday is also celebrated in some Asian countries, such as China, South Korea and Taiwan.

Gifts For Valentine

Well on "Valentine's day Japanese style" its customary for Japanese women, to give their beloved male folk and even co-workers something special. There are two types of gifts, that the Japanese women give out on Valentine’s day, there is the Giri-choco which is also known as the “Obligation Chocolate”.

Japanese women give this type of Chocolate gifts, only to their male friends, co-workers and even to their bosses. The Giri-choco is mostly given to men that they have regular contact with, Japanese women generally have to buy between twenty, to even thirty boxes of Giri-choco to give out! A good day for sales, won’t you say?


The second type of gift for Valentine’s day, is called Honmei-Choco or “Hand-made Chocolate”, this is the Valentine’s gift that is reserved for that very special person. It is usually home made, which means that a lot of love and care, must have gone into making a Honmei-Choco.

Honmei-Choco can also be bought from a store but it always comes at a price, which is a lot more expensive than even the Giri-choco. Other gifts such as ties or any item of clothing, usually goes with the Honmei-Choco as Valentine’s day gifts.

White Day

Now ladies don’t get all hot and bothered, just because Valentine’s Day is a holiday, solely for the male folk in Japan. The women are not left out in the love hols, cos March 14th which is approximately a month later, is set aside for the Japanese women, to get their own special day of love and it is called White Day.

Created in 1978 by the National Confectionery Industry Association, this holiday gives Japanese men the chance, especially those who got gifts on Valentine’s Day, to reciprocate the loving gesture, by giving their loved ones expensive Gifts with chocolates and sweets.

Initially, the white day holiday was called “Marshmallow Day” and although it wasn’t as popular as Valentine’s Day, it was still celebrated in a unique way. You see all the gifts given on the white day holiday, must come in its exquisite all white boxes, which makes it all the more expensive than the usual Valentine’s day gifts.

You have to agree with me that the White Day holiday, really gives Japanese women the opportunity to feel appreciated and loved, as well as the chance to enjoy all those gifts and Chocolates, which I must say they’ve totally earned.

Photo Credits & Articles

Thanks to RW, Quince and Quire, pink_emmie_bat, Linda , Kristen.lindblom and Silver Rose for the photos, for more interesting articles:
Bizarre Foods In Japan: Did someone say junk food? Well check out these Japanese concoctions.

Japanese Barbeque: Another Japanese wonder that is mouth watering and delicious.

Ramen Recipe: Delicious noodles that has a Chinese and Japanese connection, also healthy and delicious.

Female Samurai: Contrary to popular belief not only men were Samurais!

Year Of The Ox: Find out if you are an Ox and see the many celebrities and famous people, who were born in this year.

Dreams do come true, when your articles are published on wikinut, share your thoughts and views. Write whatever you want on wikinut and the best part is.... you get paid! Want to know more? Click here - Dreams.


14Th Of February, Chocolate, Gifts, Giri-Choco, Honmei-Choco, Japan, Japanese Chocolate, Japanese Gifts, Japanese Valentine, Joyalariwo, Love, Marshmallow Day, Obligation Chocolate, Roses, Valentines Day, White Day

Meet the author

author avatar joyalariwo
I am a screen writer who loves reading, watching movies and gardening. I like traveling and meeting people, here's hoping you enjoy my writing as well!

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author avatar joyalariwo
7th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Steve!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Feb 2014 (#)

An interesting take on Valentine's Day but it'd still a pagan holiday.

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author avatar joyalariwo
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks Jerry for your comments but I like to look at it as a day of love.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
7th Feb 2014 (#)

I loved teaching my students about White Day and Valentine's Day. I love how open Japanese are about their consumerism. It is a game, and a refreshing one. When I have students ask about it again, I'm going to send them to your article. ;)

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author avatar joyalariwo
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks Phyl, feel free to use it anytime.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
8th Feb 2014 (#)

great piece and perhaps that is why western men like japanese women!!!!!!

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author avatar joyalariwo
10th Feb 2014 (#)

As always Carolina your comments are much loved.... How's the book going?

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author avatar Retired
19th Feb 2014 (#)

Great article ... I had no idea that Valentine's Day was celebrated that way in Japan. I also had never heard of white day. Thanks for sharing :)

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author avatar joyalariwo
20th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks for the comments they are appreciated.

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