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Friday, 13th February 2015
In Events In Japan,

Japan gears up for Valentine's Day

Visitors to Japan in the country at the moment are in no doubt that Valentine's Day is very much upon the country, with enormous heart-shaped displays of chocolate in department stores and other shops hoping to woo loved-up couples.

However, those wanting to practise the tradition the Japanese way should be made aware that the custom differs dramatically from the Western counterpart, with a number of key distinctions that make it quite unlike anywhere else in the world.

Firstly, tomorrow's date (February 14th) is strictly for the ladies to show their appreciation to the gents. There is a strong tradition of giving chocolate - not only to loved ones (giri-choco) but also to bosses, colleagues and close male friends (honmei-choco or obligation chocolate).

While shop-bought chocolate is popular, many people do not believe that this reflects true love, and choose to make sweets themselves. As a result, the stores are packed not just with enormous chocolate displays, but also the tools necessary to make them.

Although men aren't required to do anything besides accept the chocolate on February 14th, there's no excuse for forgetting White Day, which comes exactly a month after Valentine's Day and sees them repay the favour to all the women who have provided gifts for them. 

Chocolate is once again a popular option and is often white to reflect the name of the day, but other types of sweets are acceptable for alternatives, as are flowers.

There are plenty of ways to be romantic no matter where you are visiting in Japan as the nation's unique collection of beautiful temples, jaw-dropping scenery and buzzing urban lifestyle makes for an unforgettable Valentine's Day.

Related news stories:
Japan ready to celebrate 'White Day' on March 14th (12th March 2015)
Japan airports packed for Golden Week start (30th April 2014)
Japan calls for six day school week (23rd April 2013)
Japan celebrates its annual Cat Day (22nd February 2016)