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We have had many happy couples travel with InsideJapan for their Honeymoon and even a few people tie the knot in a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony. But, it all starts way before that with 14th February being the important day of any relationship – Valentines. Of course Valentines holds great meaning across the World right!?….Not exactly. Many think it is a corporate creation exploiting the love of happy couples. Well, in Japan they do Valentines Day a bit different – twice in fact.
Valentines Day in Japan
The date is the same, but the practice is a little different. Valentines day in Japan is very much a one way thing. The girls are expected to buy chocolate for the men in their lives. This is not to mean that they only buy chocolates for their Boyfriend/Husband/Partner, but they will buy ‘Giri-choco’ (Lit. Obligation chocolates) for their colleagues and friends too. This is almost expected by their male co-workers too.
What about the men?
A month later on March 14th, men are expected to buy gifts and chocolate on an extra day of commercialism exploiting young love – White Day. The men that had received ‘Giri-choco’ or even ‘Honmei-Choco’ (lit real feeling chocolate). White Day was created in Japan back in 1978 and is often a chance for the girls to make sure they get a good return on the gifts they presented back on Valentines day.
Who says romance is dead. They do Valentines twice in Japan…sort of.