How Valentine’s Day Is Celebrated in Japan

Here in the U.S., many people associate Valentine’s Day with men presenting gifts to the women that they are in a relationship with or interested in. In Japan, this holiday is celebrated quite differently. If you love dining at Japanese restaurants and discovering new things about this country’s culture, then continue reading to learn about the celebration of Valentine’s Day in Japan.

Valentine’s Day

Just like in the United States, Valentine’s Day is a big business holiday for Japanese retailers. However, Japan has a deep-rooted tradition of women offering chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day, rather than the other way around. There are several theories as to how this came about, with many having to do with the fact that confectionaries marketed their chocolates to women as a way to show their affection to men that interested them. In this country, there are 2 types of chocolates that women give out on Valentine’s Day. The first, called giri-choco (obligatory chocolate) is offered to colleagues and friends. Giving someone honmei-choco (true feeling chocolate), on the other hand, is considered a genuine display of affection.

White Day

In Japan, the gift giving doesn’t end with Valentine’s Day. Exactly 1 month later, this country celebrates a counterpart to the romantic holiday on March 14 th , called White Day. This holiday gives men the chance to return the affection that they were shown on Valentine’s Day by giving a gift to the women from whom they received chocolate. Often, the gifts given are white chocolates that are meant to match the name of the holiday. Along with chocolates, flowers and other gifts are often given. Many department stores make a point to advertise White Day with gift displays to ensure that men don’t forget to purchase gifts for women.

House of Genji is a Japanese steakhouse that features a cocktail lounge and offers teppanyaki in San Jose. If you would like to know more about us or make a Japanese dining reservation, then please call (408) 453-8120.

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