The great city of Tokyo has, like almost every city in the world, some important dates when its inhabitants celebrate a normal day as it were something really special. Included among these is February 14, Valentine’s Day, a date when lovers celebrate each other.
Thousands of gifts are exchanged on this day, expressing the love that each part in a couple has for the other. And things are no different in the Japanese capital. But gifts there take a different form. Gifts are required as in any other place in the world, but here they are very specific.
On Valentine´s Day the girls give the boys a chocolate. Yes, only the girls give the gift, and not only to their partners, but also to all the males they work with, including their colleagues and even the boss himself.
This type of gift is called giri-choko, while if the gift is for the couple it’s called honmei-choko. It’s a sweet gift that like everything else stems from a company interested in selling their own products.
This celebration has been taking place for about 55 years. And the city’s stores shelves are decorated with black chocolate delights, ensuring that no girl will forget to buy a gift for her beloved … and her coworkers.
Everything from allegorical figures to cakes and all sorts of products made with this succulent food are displayed in all the major stores in Tokyo as well as the pastry shops and any other place.
The demand is so high that they have started importing chocolates from other countries, including Spain, in order to meet the demand for this good from mid-January until February 14.
Some girls prefer to make their gifts themselves, spending hours in the kitchen concocting sweets or special figures. Normally, cheaper and simpler pieces are intended for co-workers, while partners receive more elaborate and, if purchased, more expensive ones.
The way to show a person (in this case, a guy) that you appreciate and like him is to give him a gift of chocolate, the more expensive the better. Thus, the complexity or the price of the chocolate demonstrates in some way the woman’s degree of appreciation. Of course, for coworkers, it is more of a social obligation than a gesture of affection, and they are given chocolates out of this commitment.
But the celebration of Valentine´s Day does not end with the giving of chocolate to men. It finishes the following month, on March 15. Called White Day, this is when it’s the men´s turn to give a gift to their partners. And this present must be white. No matter if it´s chocolate, clothing, accessories, shoes … the color white has to be the star of the day.
And, custom indicates that the price has to be at least five times higher than the gift they received from the woman. So coworkers happy receiving a chocolate …
Discover for yourself how Valentine´s Day is celebrated in Japan when you and your partner find affordable apartments in Tokyo . Why not take a trip together for this special date and experience something new?