Here are the Do’s and Dont’s in Japan during Valentine’s Day

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here are the do's and dont's in japan during valentine's day

Valentine’s Day is a popular and special occasion in Japan, but it is celebrated differently than in other countries. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is mainly a day for women to express their feelings or gratitude to the men in their lives, by giving them chocolates or other gifts. 

However, there are some rules and customs that need to be followed, to avoid misunderstandings or awkwardness. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts in Japan during Valentine’s Day.

The Do’s

  • Do know the types of chocolates: In Japan, there are two main types of chocolates that are given on Valentine’s Day: honmei-choco and giri-choco. Honmei-choco means “true feelings chocolate”, and it is given to someone that the giver has romantic feelings for, such as a boyfriend, a crush, or a husband. Giri-choco means “obligation chocolate”, and it is given to someone that the giver has no romantic feelings for, such as a coworker, a boss, or a friend. There is also a third type of chocolate, called tomo-choco, which means “friendship chocolate”, and it is given to female friends or relatives.
  • Do make or buy good quality chocolates: In Japan, the quality of the chocolates is more important than the quantity or the price. Many women prefer to make their own chocolates, to show their sincerity and effort. However, if making chocolates is not possible or preferable, buying good quality chocolates from reputable brands or shops is also acceptable. The presentation and packaging of the chocolates are also important, as they reflect the giver’s taste and style
  • Do be clear and honest about your intentions: In Japan, Valentine’s Day is a chance to express your feelings or intentions to someone that you like or love. However, it is also important to be clear and honest about what you want and expect from the relationship. If you are giving honmei-choco, make sure that the recipient knows that you are interested in them romantically, and not just as a friend. If you are giving giri-choco, make sure that the recipient knows that you are not interested in them romantically, and that you are just being polite or friendly.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t expect anything in return: In Japan, Valentine’s Day is not a reciprocal holiday, meaning that the men who receive chocolates or gifts from women are not expected to give anything back on the same day. However, there is another holiday, called White Day, which is on March 14th, when the men are supposed to return the favor and give something to the women who gave them chocolates or gifts on Valentine’s Day. The gifts on White Day are usually more expensive or elaborate than the ones on Valentine’s Day, and they are often white in color, such as white chocolates, marshmallows, or cookies- 
  • Don’t give chocolates to everyone: In Japan, giving chocolates on Valentine’s Day is not a casual or universal gesture, but a meaningful and selective one. Therefore, it is not necessary or advisable to give chocolates to everyone that you know or meet, such as strangers, acquaintances, or family members. Giving chocolates to someone that you have no relationship or connection with may cause confusion or embarrassment, or even offend or annoy them. Giving chocolates to someone that you have a close or intimate relationship with, such as a parent, a sibling, or a child, may also be inappropriate or weird, as it may imply a romantic or sexual connotation.
  • Don’t forget the etiquette and manners: In Japan, etiquette and manners are very important and valued, especially on special occasions such as Valentine’s Day. Therefore, it is essential to follow some basic rules and norms, such as:
  • Be respectful and courteous to the recipient, and thank them for accepting your chocolates or gifts.
  • Be discreet and private, and avoid giving or receiving chocolates or gifts in public or in front of others, unless it is a group or a social event.
  • Be careful and considerate, and avoid giving or receiving chocolates or gifts that may cause allergies, discomfort, or harm, such as nuts, alcohol, or sharp objects.

Valentine’s Day is a fun and festive day in Japan, but it is also a day that requires some knowledge and understanding of the culture and the traditions. By following some of the do’s and don’ts in Japan during Valentine’s Day, you can avoid any trouble or misunderstanding, and enjoy the day with your loved ones or friends.

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