Source: Gaijin Pot
Before you get into the gifts giving, there are a few things you should know about how Japan celebrates Valentine’s Day— it’s a little different to what you might be used to. In terms of big romantic holidays for couples, Christmas, not V-Day is the big one here. Think fancy expensive dinners, declarations of undying love, proposals, romantic obligations, gifts, and all that other Hallmark Channel stuff. So what’s left to do on the 14th of February? Well, essentially it’s a day where women gift obligatory chocolate to the men in their lives.
On the chocolate front, there are in fact two types of gifts: giri-choco or “obligation chocolates” given to workmates, classmates and close-ish acquaintances, and honmei-choko, which is given to boyfriends and close male friends. A month later, on March 14, men return the favor on “White Day.”
The first edition of the Japanese valentines choco tradition can be traced back to 1958 when Tokyo chocolatier Mary Chocolate ran a campaign which, at the time, made a measly ¥150 in sales. Still, over the years, the holiday’s popularity snowballed, and it’s now a multi-million dollar seasonal industry.
If the idea of buying into all of the PR-driven pseudo-cultural propaganda gives you the shivers, but you still feel like you want to show your S(ignificant) O(ther) some lurve, why not try going weird with it? This is Japan after all so there are plenty of oddball gift ideas on the market. Here are six of our favorite unique ways to say daisukiiiii this Valentine’s Day in Japan.
1. A heart-shaped box of sea urchins
Nothing says “I’m different to everyone you’ve ever dated before” like a box of sea urchins formed in the shape of a heart. Located in the outer Tsukiji …continue reading