Today is Valentines Day.
In 西洋 (“western”) countries such as America, men give a gift such as chocolate or flowers to the woman he loves…and often he takes her to a restaurant for dinner.
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated quite differently.
In Japan, women give chocolate to men on Valentines Day.
And not only to the men they love. They will make home-made chocolate or cookies for their husband or boyfriend.
And then they will buy boxes of chocolate for their boss at work (provided their boss is male), male co-workers, brother-in-law, etc. (their father and brothers may get hand-made chocolate or store bought).
Most of the Valentines Day chocolates that women in Japan give is called 「義理チョコ」 (“Obligation chocolate“) because it’s given out of obligation.
「本命チョコ」 (“True love chocolate“) is the handmade (or more expensive store-bought) chocolate that the women give their husband or boyfriend.
And then, on March 14, exactly one month after Valentines Day, is the Japanese original holiday called “White Day“.
On White Day, men must give chocolate or cookies to every woman who gave them a Valentines Day gift in February.
Men don’t normally hand-make White Day chocolates, but just like Valentines…they give “Obligation chocolate” to the women who had given them one and a “True love” gift for their wife or girlfriend.
Click here to see my FAQ about Valentines Day in Japan.
On their website, the Japanese confectioner 「不二家」 (“Fujiya”) is offering free downloads of various “Valentines Day message cards” that you can print and write a message to someone special when you give them a Valentines Day present.
Click here to go to the “Fujiya Valentines Day Cards” page.