Valentine’s Day is very different in Japan. It is a widely-celebrated holiday, but…
Women give men chocolate!
There are two primary types of choco-gifts:
Giri-choco (義理チョコ), or obligatory chocolates, for friends and acquaintances. Girichoco is generally cheaper and lower quality. Hey, it’s not meant to have meaning.
Honmei-choco (本命チョコ), or true feeling chocolates, for romantic partners. The good stuff! And often handmade!
But don’t worry ladies, exactly one month after Valentine’s Day is… White Day! Where the man is due to return the favor. (yay!)
Obviously… this is all a ploy by candy companies to make money. But hey, more chocolate!
The first Mary’s Chocolates’ promotion for Valentine’s Day took place at the Isetan department store in Tokyo in 1956!